Triathlon Training

We are proud to annouce a new relationship. We are going to be using Training Smart Online, a leading online provider of Triathlon Coaching and Triathlon Training Programs They will provide free triathlon articles, professional coaching and training programs completely customized to your goals and situation. Here the a great piece on carbohydrate loading that they forwarded over to us.

Written by the Department of Sports Nutrition, AIS © Australian Sports Commission 2004
Carbohydrate Loading
‘Carbohydrate loading’ is probably one of the most misunderstood terms in sports
nutrition. People commonly think anyone involved in sport needs to ‘carb up’ and the
way to do this is to eat ‘flat out’ in the days leading up to an event. Read on to get the
facts on carbohydrate loading.
What is carbohydrate loading?
Carbohydrate loading is a strategy involving changes to training and nutrition that can
maximise muscle glycogen (carbohydrate) stores prior to endurance competition. The
technique was originally developed in the late 1960’s and typically involved a 3-4 day
‘depletion phase’ and a 3-4 day ‘loading phase’. Ongoing research has allowed the
method to be refined so that modern day carbohydrate loading is now more
manageable for athletes.
Does carbohydrate loading improve performance?
Muscle glycogen levels are normally in the range of 100-120 mmol/kg ww (wet weight).
Carbohydrate loading enables muscle glycogen levels to be increased to around 150-
200 mmol/kg ww. This extra supply of carbohydrate has been demonstrated to improve
endurance exercise by allowing athletes to exercise at their optimal pace for a longer
time. It is estimated that carbohydrate loading can improve performance over a set
distance by 2-3%.
Who should carbohydrate load?
Anyone exercising continuously for 90 minutes or longer is likely to benefit from
carbohydrate loading. Typically, sports such as cycling, marathon running, longer
distance triathlon, cross-country skiing and endurance swimming benefit from
carbohydrate loading. Shorter-term exercise is unlikely to benefit as the body’s usual
carbohydrate stores are adequate. Carbohydrate loading is generally not practical to
achieve in team sports where games are played every 3-4 days. Although it might be
argued that players in soccer and AFL have heavy demands on their muscle fuel stores,
it may not be possible to achieve a full carbohydrate protocol within the weekly
schedule of training and games.
How was carbohydrate loading originally achieved?
Originally, carbohydrate loading involved a depletion phase. This required 3-4 hard
training days plus a low carbohydrate diet. The depletion phase was thought to be
necessary to stimulate the enzyme glycogen synthase. The depletion phase was
followed by a loading phase that involved 3-4 days of rest combined with a high
carbohydrate diet. The extra carbohydrate combined with the now-activated glycogen
synthase was shown to boost carbohydrate stores beyond their usual resting levels.
How do modern-day athletes carbohydrate load?
Today’s endurance athletes use a modified carbohydrate loading method. Ongoing
research has demonstrated that the depletion phase is no longer necessary. This is a
bonus for athletes as the depletion phase was very difficult. Australian marathon
runner, Steve Moneghetti has described the depletion phase as making him feel like
“death warmed up”. Today, 1-4 days of exercise taper while following a high
carbohydrate diet (7-12g/kg body weight) is sufficient to elevate muscle glycogen levels.
Written by the Department of Sports Nutrition, AIS © Australian Sports Commission 2004
What does a high carbohydrate diet look like?
The following diet is suitable for a 70kg athlete aiming to carbohydrate load:
3 cups of low-fibre breakfast cereal with 11/2 cups of reduced fat milk
1 medium banana
250ml orange juice
Snack toasted muffin with honey
500ml sports drink
Lunch 2 sandwiches (4 slices of bread) with filling as desired
200g tub of low-fat fruit yoghurt
375ml can of soft drink
Snack banana smoothie made with low-fat milk, banana and honey
cereal bar
Dinner 1 cup of pasta sauce with 2 cups of cooked pasta
3 slices of garlic bread
2 glasses of cordial
Late Snack toasted muffin and jam
500ml sports drink
This sample plan provides ~ 14,200 kJ, 590 g carbohydrate, 125 g protein and 60 g fat.
Are there any special considerations for females?
Most studies of glycogen storage have been conducted on male athletes. However,
some studies suggest that females may be less responsive to carbohydrate loading,
especially during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. Further research needs to
be conducted specifically on females.
What are the common mistakes made when carbohydrate
Research indicates that many athletes who attempt to carbohydrate load, fail to achieve
their goal. Common mistakes include:
• Carbohydrate loading requires an exercise taper. Athletes can find it difficult to
back off training for 1-4 days before competition. Failing to rest will compromise
carbohydrate loading.
• Many athletes fail to eat enough carbohydrate. It seems athletes don’t have a
good understanding of the amount of food required to carbohydrate load.
Working with a sports dietitian or using a carbohydrate counter can be useful.
• In order to consume the necessary amount of carbohydrate, it is necessary to
cut back on fibre and make use of compact sources of carbohydrate such as
sugar, cordial, soft drink, sports drink, jam, honey, jelly and tinned fruit. Athletes
who include too many high fibre foods in their carbohydrate loading menu may
suffer stomach upset or find the food too bulky to consume.
• Carbohydrate loading will most likely cause body mass to increase by
approximately 2kg. This extra weight is due to extra muscle glycogen and
water. For some athletes, a fear of weight gain may prevent them from
carbohydrate loading adequately.
• Athletes commonly use carbohydrate loading as an excuse to eat everything
and anything in sight. Consuming too many high fat foods will make it difficult to
consume sufficient carbohydrate. It may also result in gain of body fat. It is
important to stick to high-carbohydrate, low-fat foods while carbohydrate

Extreme Performance Gear and Training

Nike heart rate monitors

A quick guide to Nike heart rate monitors and running logs:

1. Nike Triax C3– A great entry level basic heart rate monitor that has a lap counter and is water resistant at a great price
2. Nike Triax C5 – A few additional features like alarms, 30 run lap counter, etc but called “the basic” by Nike
3. Nike Triax C6 – All the basic figures with the addition of programmable workouts, and a 30 lap counter and 30 m water resistance.
4. Nike Triax C8 – Expanded lap counter to 50, water resistance to 30 meters, two segment interval timer, and all the features from the previous models.
5. Nike Triax C10 – 100 lap chronograph, 5 segment interval timer, programmable target heart rate zones with alarms
6. Nike Triax CV10 – All the features of the C10 with a speed and distance monitor
7. Nike Triax V10 – Speed and distance monitor or running log with no heart rate monitor
8. Nike Triax Elite – All the above features with pc download capabilities and the software to analyze your workouts.

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Extreme Performance Mission

Our mission is to assist people in developing elite level performance. Whether you are looking for sport watches, heart rate monitor training plans, heart rate monitors, or sport-specific training, we carry the products that will assist you in unleashing the desire to reach your goal.
There are four major components to achieve high-level performance in ATHLETIC TRAINING AND PERSONAL FITNESS, INDOOR AND OUTDOOR SPORTS.
1. Proper tools and gear
2. Physical ability to do the task
3. The energy sources needed to get there
4. Your desire to accomplish the goal

Proper Tools and Gear
Matching the proper gear and tools to your task is essential. Using the wrong gear at the right time is just as bad as not having the gear at all. We work directly with our clients to match the proper gear to your particular need. By working with manufacturers, like Nike, Timex, Suunto, Brunton, DeFeet to name a few, we work to anticipate every detail of your particular situation and then recommend the best solution.

Physical Ability to Do the Task
We prepare athletes and outdoor ethusiasts for the specific movements that they will use in their event as well as simulating the intensity levels experienced. By using our sports specific training your strength and stamina will increase, the risk of injury will decrease. Using a combination of activity specific drills, strength training and plyo-metrics will enhance your ability to perform with more speed and power.

The energy source or sources your body uses is of the utmost importance. If your body does not find the proper energy sources, it will not produce the power, nor will it recover properly. Without proper nutrition, you will not be able to sustain yourself while performing. We can match your specific energy requirements to the proper meal supplement. Examples of products in our store–Protein bars or energy drinks like Amino Vital, Clif Bar, PowerBar, Cytosport, and Accelerade.

This is the most vital component and the one you have the most control over. Without desire, using all of the right gear, energy supplements, or multiple hours of training can not help you.
The question is… Are you willing to put forward the time and effort necessary to achieve your goal?
If you have the desire and are willing to put forth the effort, we have the people and the programs that can help you achieve your goal. If you have any questions about whether a product will meet your expectations, simply call or email us. We are prepared to help!

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Olympic Lifts and the value in training.

Here is a great article on olympic lifts and the reason they are critical for any athletes strength development.

Why You Should Olympic Lift
By Jim Wendler
Ever since I began lifting w eights, the debate over Olympic lifts has reared its ugly head. I have heard a ton of arguments for and against the Olympic lifts. Many readers and coaches at EliteFTS have voiced their opinion on Olympic lifts and most are not big fans. Or maybe they are and don’t want to say anything. I used to be part of that group. Well, screw that. I’m going to go over 6 common reasons why Olympic lifts are bad for you and tell it like I see it. So take off your gloves; it’s time to man up.
They are too hard to teach.

I call B.S. on this one. Anyone that is physically prepared can do a power clean. It’s really pretty simple. Start off with good position at the bottom; head up, back arched (you know the drill) and begin the pull slowly. Once it passes your knees simply jump or explode up and complete the lift. Is this the most scientific terminology? No. But guess what? If you think that any athlete wants to spend 40-50 minutes a day on the double scoop or even cares what it is, think again. They may nod their heads but all they are doing is affirming to their inside voice that you are nuts. Bottom line; as long as he is physically prepared to do the lift, then it’s easy. It’s when an athlete isn’t prepared that it gets tough.

While we are on the subject of teaching lifts let’s get a few things straight: if an athlete can’t hold a push-up position for 30 seconds or even hold himself statically at the top of a back raise for 10 seconds why are you putting a barbell in his hands or on his back? What is the rationale behind this? It is too hard to teach to someone that isn’t ready to handle it. Think about it this way – you wouldn’t expect a two year old to read Sir Gawain and The Green Knight would you? Why? Because he has trouble with basic English!

They are dangerous.
This view is usually expressed by those that work in the Office of the Machine Union which is located on the 33rd block of Hit Blvd, which is just off of the DisInformation Superhighway. Olympic lifting is dangerous if the athletes aren’t physically ready to perform them. Other than that, the only thing that I can see that can hurt an athlete is poor supervision and poor weight selection. This is not the fault of the lift, but the coach and the athlete. This is what is known as personal responsibility. If one is going to use this rationale then the following exercises would be outlawed:

• Every exercise known to man.
Now I do realize that some exercises are “safer” than others but let’s think about this – How safe is using a machine? Isn’t it just pattern overload?
Any lift can be dynamic, not just the Olympic lifts.
I agree with this statement, but what you have to understand is that the clean and the snatch are inherently dynamic or fast lifts. Just like you can’t jump on a box slowly, you can’t Olympic lift slowly. You have little choice but to be fast. While a squat and bench press can be pressed quickly, it can be faked.
By the way, if you are looking to perform Olympic lifts, I would not use the same percentages as are used for the squat and the bench. Ask someone who cleans 300lb what 150lb (50%) feels like. It’s a joke and a waste of time. Because the Olympic lifts are dynamic, the percentages are going to have to be increased. Personally, I never got much out of Olympic lifting when I wasn’t operating around 80% or above. This is just my opinion, but something to think about.

They are all technique.
If you are going to use this rationale then you might as well use it for the squat and the bench. There are gimmicks to every lift, but these are usually only applicable to the top level lifters. An Olympic lifter is very good a pulling the bar JUST high enough, but no higher. A football player doesn’t need to worry about this, just like an Olympic lifter doesn’t have to have perfect form when he runs sprints. This is because an Olympic lifter is using sprints as a tool for his performance, not as his sport. This doesn’t give him license to look like a spaz when he’s running. He just does them well enough to run fast and get something out of them.
Here is what you have to understand about training an athlete. They don’t have to be 100% perfect on technique. I would never expect them to be. Why? Because they aren’t powerlifters or Olympic lifters; they are athletes using various lifts to improve sport performance. I hope that we are all in agreement with the last statement.
I believe that all athletes should strive to perform all lifts in such a way that they will receive the full benefit from them and not get hurt. This means that they tuck their elbows on the bench press and keep their asses on the bench, sit back in the squat, go parallel or deeper on the squat and have good starting position on the power clean and don’t catch in a Jean Claude Van Damme split position. These are only a couple of examples, but really what more do you need?
Ethan Reeve once told me something that I completely agree with. He said that an athlete will still get something out of a lift that it is done with good (not great) technique. It’s only when the technique is so bad that it could cause injury does he “pull the plug.” This doesn’t mean you should not coach your athletes, but if he’s not to the triple-rebar-double-scoop-Bulgarian-front-lunge-double-Chocolate-Expresso with extra cheese portion of the Snatch correctly, I wouldn’t lose too much sleep about it.

I’m training athletes, not Olympic lifters
Every time I hear this I want to immerse myself in a cauldron of boiling tar. Only then will I forget the pain of this statement. How many times have you heard the expression, “We are not (insert strength athlete here), we are (insert sport here). So we don’t need to train like them.” That is correct, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use some of their exercises. How many people have blown their loads over tire flipping? You would think there was gold under each tire the way that coaches get all worked up. But are they training for a strongman competition? No. But they understand the benefits of doing the exercise. See where I’m going with this one? If one is going to use this statement than if you are a football player you can no longer squat (powerlifting), sprint (track), stretch (yoga) or accept money from boosters (Michigan Fab 5 Basketball Team).
Why rack the barbell? Why not just do a pull?
This is usually done because of the stress on the wrists. I can assure you that there is one other thing that males (and according to Cosmo and other magazines of that ilk, females) do quite frequently with their wrists and have few problems. But anyway, the problem with just doing the high pull is that there is no “end” to the lift. Completion is sometimes critical to an athlete; it gives them a sense of accomplishment and allows a coach to have a guideline to track progress. While in theory it may work better, in the real world it’s not always the case.

The purpose of this article is not for me to wave the Olympic lifting flag and start a war. The point is that while there are a lot of people that don’t like Olympic lifting, there are a lot that do. It seems like you can’t sit on the fence; you either have to be all for it or wish that it suffers a slow and painful death. What I find remarkable is that there are a lot of people that haven’t really thought about this and just jump on the bandwagon . Who cares is someone doesn’t agree with you? If you think Olympic lifts are good, then do them. It’s your program and they are your athletes.
Here are some other thoughts:
If I have to hear about some study done on Olympic Weightlifters in the 19—Olympics and how terrific they are, I will be forced to poison the messenger with E coli. First of all, what kind of coach lets their athletes be part of a study AT THE OLYMPICS? I never understood that. They always measure 10 yd dash, flexibility, vertical jump and standing long jump. Now I ask you this: Do they do well at these tests because of the Olympic lifts OR do they do well on the Olympic lifts because they are good at these tests? Here is a point of reference for you – While I was at the University of Kentucky, the defensive coordinator was a seasoned veteran. He had been coaching for over 30 years. In those 30 years, he had collected testing data on every single football player on every team that he was a part of. It was remarkable because it was in these huge 3 ring binders. Anyway, the most accurate test, in regards to how it related to an athlete being a starter, was the vertical jump. So now do you simply train every football player to have a huge vertical jump? Something to think about.

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Cross Training for Runners

Here is a great basic article on cross training for runners. Use these concepts to develop your performance

Here is an portion of the article “Whether you race or not, cross-training is extremely important for all runners. It builds your “non-running” muscles and balances muscle groups. It boosts cardiovascular fitness and adds variety to a routine. Cross-training can help prevent injury and most important, it can improve your running performance.
The question is how to incorporate cross-training into your routine. That depends on your goals and interests. To help you choose what’s right, we’ve assembled a list of the most popular cross-training activities from a runners’ perspective. “

Check out the rest of the article

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The Starting Point of Elite Performance-Definition and Building Blocks

What an unbelievable deep, engaging, complex, simplistic question. The subject can be viewed from so many different directions that it becomes almost overwhelming and too complex to even attempt to define, let alone attain a certain level of achievement. So like every goal that seems too large to even fathom the completion, we just going to “jump in” and start our quest of attaining elite performance. On our journey this year, our goal is not to say we have all the answers on achievement or claim to be the experts on any one of the subjects covered, but more simply, we looking to engage thought of athletes and “the experts” on the certain subjects. Then connect people who are desiring high quality information with the proper sources of the information and in the end, after all is said and done, we would have assisted an athlete in reaching or completing the next step on their path to attaining their goals. We will attempt to cover basic questions like what type of training program should a beginner use to very specific questions like what are the effects of sleep, or hydration. That is how supplements come into play, or even how do you pick the proper gear for your situation? This is only a tip of the iceberg of the type and number of questions, we are going to explore and research. For the sake of limiting the unlimited number of variables in elite-level performance in sports, we are going to look at it from the endurance athlete’s perspective.

So lets move on to systematically moving through the variables of accomplishment at a high level. The first stop is a definition and the basic building blocks of elite performance. The following definitions are taken from 2005 Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and WordNet 2.0 2003 from Princeton University.

Elite- Pronunciation: A-‘lEt, i-, E-Function: nounEtymology: French élite, from Old French eslite, from feminine of eslit, past participle of eslire to choose, from Latin eligere1 a singular or plural in construction : the choice part : cream b singular or plural in construction : the best of a class c singular or plural in construction : the socially superior part of society d : a group of persons who by virtue of position or education exercise much power or influence e : a member of such an elite — usually used in plural – elite adjective
adj : selected as the best; “an elect circle of artists”; “elite colleges” [syn: elect] n : a group or class of persons enjoying superior intellectual or social or economic status [syn:elite group]

Performance per·for·mance Pronunciation: p&(r)-‘for-m&n(t)sFunction: noun1 a : the execution of an action b : something accomplished : deed, feat 2 : the fulfillment of a claim, promise, or request : IMPLEMENTATION 3 a : the action of representing a character in a play b : a public presentation or exhibition 4 a : the ability to perform : EFFICIENCY b : the manner in which a mechanism performs 5 : the manner of reacting to stimuli : BEHAVIOR 6 : the linguistic behavior of an individual : PAROLE ; also : the ability to speak a certain language — compare COMPETENCE 3

Additionally, we ask the question from the 2005 Tour de France, Who attained elite performance George Hincapie or Lance Armstrong? Some might say, Lance Armstrong hands down, he has won the event 7 years in a row, but I propose that both attained elite performance at the same time. Just because the role was different does not mean George did not attain elite performance.

Another aspect of high-level performance is expectations. If your expectations are to simply complete the race within a given time and you complete the mission, you have attained elite performance in your situation. So a person, like my father who 1 year ago had never jogged longer than 2 minutes in his life, completed a 5K run in less than 36 minutes at the age of 62 attained elite performance.

Hence, the our definition of elite performance is anybody selected, recognized, or chosen as the best at a given role, set of expectations, or a certain level of performance.

George Hincapie’s performance over the last 7 years in helping Lance with the Tour de France and my father completing the 5K as well as Lance Armstrong’s accomplishments are heroic efforts. Regular people like these and millions of others should be rewarded and applauded for their efforts the same way Lance Armstrong is in winning 7 Tour de France titles. Just because one accomplishment is in front of millions and the athlete is glorified as the greatest ever, does not mean the other person completing their personal best in a triathlon has not attained the highest level of performance. In fact, they all have achieved great things.

The next step is to start the process of researching and developing the answers to specific questions around elite performance. We propose the following subject headings:
Psychology and Spiritual
Diet and Nutrition
Training Event Performance
Genetic Ability

Under these headings, we are going to find all of our questions and answers. While there are untold numbers of variables not even discovered by modern technology as of yet, and as new developments are discovered we will apply them to our list.
Next week, we will move onto our first question. What is the zone and how does it affect performance?

Use of heart rate monitors

Here are the major reasons or uses of a heart rate monitor
1. Increasing the accuracy of tracking your heart rate during workouts
2. The ability to compare your current fitness level with past and future workouts
3. Prevent over-training and under-training
4. The ability to better pace your number of beats per minute (i.e. intensity level) during workouts and races

For more detailed information, check out our powermeters. They can take you one step beyond the heart rate monitor.

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A beautiful day in Minnesota

Hey, everybody.

Just touching base to say hope all is well and here is a thought for the day.

If you are a cyclist, what is the hottest new product for managing your workouts?

A powermeter. Check back in a couple days and we will be posting new information on how you can use this new technology to elevate your performance.

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Use Contrasting in your Workouts

“Plyo-metrics are the only way to go to train for power”, “The stability ball is the best
thing ever”, “Pilates is the way to go”’ “Free weights or it isn’t training”, we have all
heard that some type of training is the sliver bullet to success. When the truth lies
somewhere in the middle, each different type of training covers a different facet of
development or creates a different way to challenge the body, each one has strengths and
weaknesses. Why not “Contrast” your workouts to include the better of each one.
Simply, use one exercise from one philosophy and pair it with a second exercise from a
different philosophy and see how your body responds.

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Sport Specific Training

A thought on sport specific training..

Don’t go off the deep end and change your whole program. The tried and true principles of power and speed training still work. Just take about 10-15% of your program and dedicate it to the specific movements that are specific to your event.

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Change or modify your training program often

One of the biggest problem areas we see in training runners and endurance athletes to hockey players to dancers is they are doing the same training program month after month and they wonder why they are not improving. No matter what you looking to achieve, you must change the volume, intensity, and type of training on a consistent basis. Include recovery days, download weeks, higher or lower intensity training, and maybe even use alternative forms of training. Your body will love you and it will be forced to adapt more often. This will potentially eliminate the plateaus and hopefully, increase your personal best.

Video Games will Make you a better athlete?

I ran across this article which provokes some interesting thoughts. Can a video game improve your cognitive thoughts and make you a better athlete? I do think it can but you do have to make sure you don’t become a couch potato and think you will be able to perform your best. Check out the article.

Heart rate monitors

Check out the next addition to our website. The
heart rate monitors section was just added.

Food for thought around heart rate monitors and overtraining.

One of the biggest problems with training for adults and youth is overtraining. We have been told if we work harder than the next guy, we will be better off than him. While is some cases, people are not putting their full effort into the training and need to work harder. A large percentage of people just need to allow their body to recover by taking a day off or not training at a really high intensity every day. The heart rate monitor will help you stay at the proper intensity level by monitoring your heart rate.

Hope that makes sense.


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A great Day in Training Land. Who wants to run stairs?

Good morning.

Today has started off well. We have finalized the summer schedule and have the trainers in place. We are ready to take on the summer of training. But enough about details of business.
Lets move on to an interesting question?

If you are an baseball, softball, or a player that has a only quick 15-30 sec sprints or no sprints at all, why do you run for 1 mile or more during your training? When does that apply to improving your performance?

Our thoughts are almost never. So why do we do it? Because that’s just what we do or I seen some other players doing the same thing, well that is not good enough for you. We would recommend you do a metabolic run. It is a circuit of sprints and drills done for 3-4 minutes with rest in between the circuits. This more closely emulates the game and will greatly increase your conditioning level in a way that you can use.

See you tomorrow.

Speed and Power development over the summer

We are going to be starting our summer sessions for speed and power development, The starting of summer always brings a lot of thoughts on how to train young athletes. The standard pattern is to sign athletes up in 3-5 two week programs and then start captains practice for conditioning and call it a good off-season program. One of the major mistakes I see parents or athletes make is trying to go all out for two weeks at a time with differing training groups or camps, then do absolutely nothing the next two weeks, then back at it for two weeks. It does not allow the athlete to develop his overall speed and strength, because the next week they are not building on what they did the two weeks previous. The money spent for camps would be better placed working with somebody, like once a week over a extended period of time. This allows the body to receive the training better and be challenged over a longer time. Thats about it.

Running and Flexibility

I was doing some research on flexibility and sports and I came across and intersting thought. More times than not it is assumed that more flexibility will help you perform at a higher level or avoid injuries. Check out this quote from Stretching Scientifically by Tom Kurz 2003.

Running economy has been associated with decreased flexibility. Stiffness of the calf muscles and achilles tendon enhances”elastic energy storage and return” during every running step, and the small range of motion of external rotation in the hip reduces the metabolic cost of the muscular activity needed for stabilizing the pelvis during long distance running (Craib 1996) Excessive mobility in the joints diminishes stability on the body, causing scattering of the forces acting on it. This in turn necessitates additional muscular tension in movements where parts of the body have to be stabilized to support heavy loads (Raczek 1991). Such scattering of forces-for example, caused by an excessively loose trunk at the moment of takoff-reduces performance in jumpiong(Wazny 1981b)

Just food for thought.

Launch of Extreme Performance Blog

Here is the first post of many in the McCarthy Project Blog. I look forward to fun times. Thanks for all your great ideas in making our company better and this is a step down that direction.

Talk to you later.

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