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Outlaw Faux Pas

February 17, 2013

I have decided to pull my blog post at this time.  I had created an Outlaw style satirical blog post  regarding a bad training camp experience.  That is the important part here, regarding a bad training camp experience.  The Outlaw Way programming is genius, and yes, FREE.  I still follow the Outlaw Way programming, and will continue to do so.  Rudy is a good programmer.  I had an atrocious camp experience, and as far as that goes, have no apologies for blogging on that.    That being said, I have pulled the blog out of respect for, and to protect the athletes who depend on the programming of the Outlaw Way as their training regimen, and also minimize any negative repercussions to the very talented coaches/athletes that are associated with it, such as, Spencer Arnold, Elizabeth Akinwale, and BP.  They should be commended for taking the reigns and delivering to the camps they were involved in.


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  1. Classy move. (It was very entertaining, though, I gotta admit!)

    I hope Rudy makes some changes based on the negative experiences of more-than-a-few campers.

  2. hylander81 permalink

    Seemed pretty honest to me…

  3. Agreed. Should have kept it up…and not be pushed around. If people want fantastic free programming, without the antics…I highly recommend OPT…just my $.02.

    • Thank you, I’m sure it is still circulating. I may have pulled the link, but I’m sure to some extent its still out there. Not doing it for Rudy, and not being pushed around, doing it out of kindness to the more innocent people in which I have the upmost respect for as athletes and/or coaches.

    • Casey permalink

      I’ve attended both Outlaw and OPT camps, and highly recommend OPT also.

  4. Jesse permalink

    Hmmm. Don’t know if I agree with you removing the post. It was very honest, informative for others, and very enlightening. I know I have a different perspective now. WIsh more people could hear the “other side of the story” and make their own decision.

  5. BDiggle permalink

    Removing it was soft. I’m sorry the truth hurts some peoples’ feelings.

    BP and Elizabeth were amazing at our camp but, at the end of the day, they too (like everyone else) are responsible for deciding with what they wish to be associated.

    …and the biggest problem (and the largest reason you needed to leave this up)..? It became pretty clear pretty quickly that your experience was NOT the exception but pretty typical.

    Guess patinas win again.

  6. kmlowe permalink

    Post again..exercise drama is teh best!

  7. Scurvy permalink

    While I disagree with you airing out your dirty laundry on a blog instead of discussing the matter with the source of your frustration. I feel pulling your posting is an even more spineless move.
    You are displaying the exact same behavior as CF HQ on twitter/FB.

    • Pete permalink

      I guess you haven’t heard of the many similar complaints sent to Rudy himself that went unanswered.

    • Orvar permalink

      Scurvy, I don’t follow your logic. With your line of reasoning, film critics would be out of a job. She posted an honest review of a product.

    • I’m gonna say again…classy move. Obviously, not everyone will get that.

  8. I’m all for it being reposted as long as there id some paragraph spacing added back in. Jesus almighty that was painful to get through the last half.

  9. Pete permalink

    Why apologize for the truth? Let Rudy respond and tell us why we should pay $300 for his camp. I was dying for him to come to my area, but there is no way in hell I will ever attend one of his camps now. So, thank you. I’ve heard enough over the past 2 days to convince me that Rudy will be yesterday’s news very soon. Watching Talanya make improvements like a Newb is pretty great too. There are too many good coaches to throw money at a jerk. F Rudy.

  10. NikiMRhodes permalink

    I’m bummed. I was glad someone finally was speaking up. I’ve heard the same story from so many people. And it’s not anyone but Rudy that deserves being put out there I agree with that.

    Beyond the content of the actual “training camp” I’ve been told he has failed to pay many affiliate owners for the use of their gyms. Making excuses about why he couldn’t pay.

    It’s not a reflection on the daily programming.

  11. Pete permalink

    New WOD: “douche”: AMRAP wife tackles before the cops show up

  12. Mike permalink

    I just read the cached article! Hilarious.

  13. I don’t think you need to apologize. I went to the camp in SoCal and my girlfriend went to the ripoff at TJ’s. BP was a great help in SoCal. But everything you wrote and all the comments were very accurate. He is taking advantage of people. $15,000 for a little over 2 days of work(if you call it that) should give you enough money to fly out a few coaches to assist. Even last minute if you are sick. So many things wrong that could have been prevented if he cared.

  14. sam permalink

    PLEASE dont be afraid – repost!!!! It needed to be said.

  15. It was nothing more and nothing less than true honest feedback and you most definitely are allowed THAT! (i think he’s a sociopath, IMHO)

  16. Should have left it up. And is Rudy really a genius? No.

    • We all have situations that piss us off look at my new blog and add a situation! I could go on and on about things like marketing manipulation, politics so on and so forth! Trying to have others add to my blog just to let off steam.

  17. Jery Curl permalink

    wasn’t he aRRESTED a while back or something?? anyone know?

  18. ADH permalink

    The guy has his athletes max out every single day. Only professional athletes need that sort of training. Anyone who has half a brain and has spent any significant time in the S&C world knows this. No wonder he had a lot of injuries. Games athletes are professional CrossFitters, not pro Olympic lifters. I’m sorry but his programming is not all its cracked up to be.

  19. We all have situations that piss us off look at my new blog and add a situation! I could go on and on about things like marketing manipulation, politics so on and so forth!

  20. I don’t know Rudy Neilsen or anyone from the Outlaw Way, nor I am employed by them. I swear a lot so if that offends you stop reading and go do wall-balls or something equally fucking stupid.

    What I learned from Outlaw Training Camp:

    Sometimes in life you come across people where their perceived is bigger than the person and this was case when I met Rudy Neilsen. This is not knock at Rudy in the least, I built up an image of Rudy in my head and when the image does not match reality it’s bit of rude awakening. I saw Outlaw Way had a training camp in Novato, my reaction “Fuck yeah.” Finally get to pick his brain about programming and intricacies of becoming a Crossfit / Competitive exerciser. I shelled out my $300 dollars and explained to my pregnant wife I NEEDED to go this or I will fucking die.

    I first started following the Outlaw Way several months ago and I believed it was the cure-all for my athletic woes and to a certain extent it was and still is. The Outlaw Way / Big Piece of Chicken is fucking genius who would of ( thunk) periodization for the Xfit games would work so well. If you have any doubts please look at how many athletes qualified for the games from the Outlaw Way compared to any other training plan (I will wait while you look).

    I attended the seminar in Novato and I will give you my honest opinion of the Training Camp the highs, lows and the outright fucking terrible.

    Finally the date arrived, I packed my shit and picked up friends and drove to TJ’s Gym. I don’t know about you guys but I fucking hate being late it drives me nuts. I got their at there at 6pm and No Rudy, No Akinwale WTF! I paid you 300 bucks and you’re late. No Bueno! Homie, but its Rudy and Outlaw Way, I will give him 30 minutes. While waiting for Rudy I overheard several people complaining about the lack of information provided before the camp started. Honestly the sharing of information could have been handled better, several people did not not know where the seminar would be held or the days. Okay strike one against Rudy for logistics and sharing of information. In defense of Outlaw, I knew where the seminar was being held and the days and I am not that smart.

    6:30 arrived and shit-balls it’s Rudy and my Crossfit crush Akinwale. (any of you tards say she too muscular, kill yourself.. really kill your self). Rudy stepped in and he was jizzing ego all over the gym and I fucking loved it. my body was ready.

    The first session:

    It was a 1RM lifting session to gauge the standard strength of the camp and to get some footage for the Outlaw Way . I saw some amazing shit go down , Charlie Zamora from Warriorz fitness snatch 270+ and save a busted lift. Madi from CrossFit Oregon snatch 155 pounds and she’s only 17 years old one can only imagine what she could do with two years of training. And finally some more amazing shit, was Elizabeth Akinwale snatching 190# pounds in front of me. (Look out motherfuckers). With that being said, it dawn on me that this camp was not for beginners or neophytes in the game of CrossFit. it Is my humble opinion that this camp was for seasoned CrossFit athletes for people who have a legitimate shot at at least the regionals much less the games. If you came to this camp with the goal of gaining one-on-one time with Rudy Nielsen you are sadly mistaken. This inherently is not a bad thing, one should know what you’re getting into. Looking at the Outlaw Way website it clearly shows that Rudy deals with top tier CrossFit athletes. Let’s just be honest here, not everybody is going to make it to regionals, and not everyone can make it to the games. This could’ve been relayed better by Rudy and his staff that this class was geared to the competitive Crossfitter’s. It appeared to be a money grab, but at this point in time I refuse to believe this was his intention.

    I clearly recognize that I was out of my league and decided to learn as much as I can from Rudy and Elizabeth at this training camp. I read an article couple months ago about attending fitness seminars and most important point took away from that article was it’s incumbent on the attendee the gain as much information as possible. You the attendee you paid your money and it’s your goal to come away with as much information as possible. I noticed from the initial session with Rudy that this was my goal to gain as much knowledge as possible. In the one and a half days that I spent with Rudy and I gained two pages of notes and a lifetime of knowledge.

    Now for the negative, this initial lifting session was crowded and I believe at certain points unsafe. Not directly related to Rudy, and his training methods but the small space that was available to the lifters and dropping of heavy weight in such close proximity to other people. additionally, I expected a more hands-on approach from Rudy and his staff, But it was only Rudy and Elizabeth for approximately 60 athletes lifting simultaneously. Once again expectations and reality collided and it turned into a shit sandwich.

    Day one of the seminar was over, and I felt a bit jilted because of the lack of information and change of schedule by Rudy and his staff. Should be noted that Elizabeth was not feeling very well and she tried her hardest to be open and approachable to the participants and I got a picture with her. PS for crossfitter she smells awesome.

    Day two:

    In keeping with my current theme of the learning as much as I can about the sport and what’s needed to succeed at this sport, I approached day two as a heavy note-taking session. These were my take away points from day two of training camp. Once again this is only my opinion and other peoples opinions may vary.

    Efficiency of movement – the athletes who moves better, are faster and a more successful at the sport. For example which Rich Froning at the 2012 games performing Isabel. According to Rudy this was the efficiency of movement at it best. Every rep was perfect slow and smooth. Really demonstrating very good efficiency of movement. I Immediately went home and watched Rich performing Isabel. And no shit Rudy as right Rich Froning was slow but smooth. And guess what he won the games. I think I have man crush Rich.

    Strength is king- according to Rudy any other coach worth his weight in bacon strength is king, all things being equal the stronger athlete will win. This is clearly demonstrated by Rich Froning throughout the entirety of the games. Newsflash this little fucker has a 300 pound snatch and has been acknowledge by Pendlay as good lifter. nuff said.

    To develop strength one must focus on the Olympic lifts and their variants.

    Another important point taken from Rudy is primarily all the movements at the games have a direct correlation to the other Olympic lifts. For example stupid fucking wall balls. Become better at clean and jerk and become better at stupid fucking Wall balls.

    Beware of loss of form.

    Learn how to love handstand push-ups, because there not going away. They will be in every games. (“EVERY GAMES!!!!). call me batman.

    Fuck scaling, you cant scale at the games so why scale in real life.

    One should not worry about the Open once you have a certain level of competitive exercising under your belt. The Open should be a non factor. Are you training for the Open or the Games. I think the most athletes would say the Games. That got some peoples panties in bunch. Most people interject themselves into statements made my others and get offended when they do. Rudy said his athletes don’t train for the Open , because those fuckers will make it to regionals and not lose sleep over. Secondly why train for the Open and blow “the plan” otherwise known as periodization out of the water. If you wanna train for the Open do what the fuck you wanna do but don’t expect to make it to the games.

    Negatives of Day.

    It was a huge cluster, and disorganized. Imagine 60 athletes in room trying to find space to train and also gain the attention of the coach. This problem could have easily fixed with additional staff members and a bigger gym or better yet a smaller class size. My gripe was if paid $300 bucks, I wanted some attention. (Well Akinwale did sit on my back, I am never washing that shirt, NEVER!!).

    Rudy is a self confessed ADD child, his lecture even though eye opening was all over the place. I would have loved some handouts, or a write up explaining his training philosophy.

    Defense of Outlaw:

    I heard grumblings about the lack of attention giving to athletes at the camp and Rudy only focused on the Top Tier athletes. I beg to differ, the Zamora and Madi’s of the world commanded his attention because they did gangster shit. Like I said before, its incumbent on you to gain as much as possible from the camp. Have a question. ask it motherfucker. you paid for his time. I did!

    Day three :

    We were told show up at 8 AM,. I showed up at 8 AM and waited, and waited and waited and waited. Finally 11 AM arrived and we were approached by TJ of TJ’s gym and he told us that really would not be appearing today. WTF ! motherfucker, what do you mean ! It was explained to us that Rudy and Elizabeth were both suffering from flulike symptoms and would not be able to attend the rest of the day.

    No information was provided to us about the possibility of a partial refund or making up a future training camp.

    TJ tried his hardest and attempted to fill in for Rudy and Elizabeth but it was not the same. The information provided to us from TJ and Marcus Filly was invaluable. But I did not pay for TJ, I paid for Rudy.

    Marcus Philly God bless his heart, tried his hardest to engage us with a lecture on programming and nutrition. But he was a fish out of water not because he didn’t know what to talk about just was not aware he was about to talk about it. He was unprepared and was given a monumental job of filling in for Rudy. It was my belief that Marcus was also there for Rudy.

    After attempting to salvaged rest of my day by listening to Marcus and TJ. I decided to leave and write a letter to the folks at Outlaw . I was told by a member of Outlaw staff that a follow-up training camp would be established for the members of the Novato training camp. Honestly, I would not like to attend another camp and I would like a partial refund for the day that was missed. I have not heard anything about a refund but I am holding out and believe they would do the right thing. (fingers crossed)

    We as crossfitters are a fickle crowd, we are quick to jump on the latest training program or dorky ass shoes. Lets face it Reeboks are fucking ugly. But I have faith in Rudy and his program, he is consistent with his postings and the knowledge his possess is truly invaluable. How many of you know how long does it take to pick up a bar after you drop it? any of you ? Rudy does, six fucking seconds.Six, who does that.

    He is a nerd, last time I checked nerds weren’t that good at presentation or selling their product. ( Bill Gates) The camp can be fixed with better logistical support, communications, a vastly overhauled means of presentation, limited class size ,participate prerequisites, larger support staff and lastly a backup plan for when his ticker acts the fuck up. To all you “coaches” who started sharpening your pitchforks and were ready to burn the Outlaw Way look at your program and look at Rudy’s. His program is geared to athletes and not general population. Make sure your product is in line with your clients expectations.

    I asked myself would I attend another seminar from Outlaw as it stands currently and no I would not. If the changes are made and exceptions are laid from the beginning Fuck Yeah!!.

    Lastly, I hope Rudy and Elizabeth are fine at the end of the day its fucking Crossfit. If you read this Rudy get better man and you me owe some money mofo.

    • OutlawNAY permalink

      Holy shit… Get Rudy’s balls out of your mouth. How many excuses can you make for him? He’s a professional charging $300 per person for these camps. He’s not some high school kid presenting his year end thesis. Rudy knows exactly wtf he’s doing. Since you’re so fond of looking things up, go look up comments regarding his other camps. Same thing. He doesn’t want to improve his product. He wants to fill his pockets. Why would you give Rudy a pass? Would you give Mike Burgener a pass if his camps were just as f-ed up? But guess what? Coach B’s camps are spot on, and worth every penny because he’s a damn professional who takes pride in his job. The only thing Rudy is doing is showing his true colors. If Outlaw was a stock I’d be dumping it all!

    • “I read an article couple months ago about attending fitness seminars and most important point took away from that article was it’s incumbent on the attendee the gain as much information as possible.”

      Agreed. Any idea how I can find this article?

  21. Well said folks. I honestly do not believe in beating the proverbial dead horse, but I went to the camp in palm desert in October. In a room full of amazing athletes Rudy only has eyes for the very very best. If you don’t snatch over 100kg and clean and jerk more than 130kg you’re invisible. I understand that he’s always looking for the best, but as a coach it’s more impressive to take a regional caliber athlete and make them into a games athlete. Anyone can take a games caliber athlete and make them 20% better with good programming. unfortunately none of us would know about that because at our camp Rudy coached his own athletes during our met cons and lifting sessions, when he wasn’t lying on his back on his phone. Thank Christ we at least has EA and BP, both excellent coaches who legitimately cared to help us. Several of the better athletes contwmplated not coming the final day. The lecture was okay, Rudy was passionate about that and I appreciated it, but I never got the notes I requested several times.

    Yeah yeah the camp was poorly run, but what was the worst was Rudy was just trying so embarrassingly hard to portray his outlaw image. Rude, arrogant, he went out of his way to make people feel stupid when they ask legitimate questions, it was a bummer. We went to dinner and I bought this guy a half yard beer, and I can honestly tell you that he did not even say thank you. Really? BP was very grateful and drank with me and bullshitted all night, but I was done with Rudy after he couldn’t thank someone for a gift, that’s just a fail as a human, especially when he made 15 grand that weekend.

    The one thing I can than this guy for (besides his progam which is fucking great, I do it now in spite of him because its well done) is what NOT to do in terms of being on my phone during classes I coach, how not to address folks that pay me a LOT of fucking money. And finally how not to treat folks who respect me and trust me both as a friend and a mentor and coach.

    Rudy, I sincerely hope that you apologize to your outlaw community and change your ways. You’re entertaining and funny but you dont need to be a total asshole. you’re great with CF program design, but you are doing serious irreversable damage to your reputation no matter how many check you’ve cashed. You’re letting people down who really previously respected you.

    -Travis Cassidy

  22. OutlawNAY permalink

    I’d like to see Rudy take someone from 120lb weakling to a Games competitor. Let’s be honest, anyone here could program for Akinwale and have her see progress. He rests his laurels on genetic freaks. I’m more impressed by the people programming Camille and Becca Voigt. They are real coaches. Rudy has a template that works for the masses. Good for him. His programming is real good, but that doesn’t make him a coach. The fact that Talanya has made better progress since leaving him should say something.

  23. Mark permalink

    I’ve been to many certification/seminars/training camps. I’ve always learned a lot and had a great experience. The Outlaw Training camp was the complete opposite.
    First things first… Rudy figured out that doing Weightlifting(Olympic Lifts) with short met-cons = good programming. That’s all he did. This does not make him a good coach.
    Yes, his training camps may have been a cash grab or a scam but word of mouth is a powerful thing. I am a gym owner and met about 10 others at my training camp. During lunch on the second day we all agreed that this was a big shit show. Rudy is an dick, this camp was a joke, and we all wasted time/money. We all said that all of the athletes and coaches attending should of just shared training techniques from each other. But instead, we were respectful of not stepping on Rudy’s toes and wasted our time. Everyone I met at the seminar included coaches and athletes all agreed that Rudy is a terrible coach(person) + his camp was the biggest waste ever. You may have liked it if you never read the Outlaw doctrine, been on the CrossFit Journal, checked out Gymnastics, or watched videos of weightlifting on Youtube.

    Why this seminar sucked?
    He goes over the same shit in his Outlaw Doctrine page during his lectures. He continues to beat a dead horse with saying how great Olympic Lifting is. All he focused on was his two athletes, EA and BP. Rudy has a big chip on his shoulder always blaming someone. He was texting people or on his phone most of the time. Even if the seminar sucked, it wouldn’t of been that bad if Rudy wasn’t a true douche. We had so many one liners after taking this camp. There are so many times where he refers to his clients at CF Outlaw being dumb fat soccer moms. He mentioned how lucky they are to see real athletes like Talayna and EA working out around them. One of my favs is how he talked about one of his long time coaches… he referred to him as a piece of shit, a fat ass dad. WTF?! I can’t imagine how he treats people he doesn’t like. Well for people attending the seminar… I guess ignoring us and taking our money is it. I could go on all day but I’ve already written more than I ever had in a comment box. I’ll leave you with another classic:
    EA: “Hey Rudy can you talk a little bit more on this(gymnastic technique)”….
    Rudy: (looks up from playing on his phone) “Nope” (back to his phone)
    EA: “OK then” (and continues on)
    Sorry for bothering you Rudy, that was rude of EA and participants.

    You learn basic crap Olympic Lifting technique, drills, and warm-ups. Jump + Shrug! Yay! Not! We didn’t pay $300 to learn the Burgener warm-up. BP and EA are good athletes but are not coaches, especially not in weightlifting. For someone who claims to study countless hours and studies weightlifting, Rudy didn’t even know the “Hit and Catch” or “Catapult” style which most lifters use today. Jump, Shrug, Elbows high and outside… that is some real ADVANCED training!

    Gymnastics… I’ll keep it short. Carl’s taught us way more that their session. OMG! You just blew my mind by teaching me a hollow body rock.

    Programming…. all the coaches I’ve spoke to stayed till the end because that was the last lecture. We would of left earlier if he went over this first. This was the biggest disappointment. Another fucking let down. Here is his magical secret to programing… ready for it?! He uses Prilepin’s chart and programs movements in waves(8-12 weeks). That’s it! It was in his doctrine as well. Look through his programming… he will input 12 weeks of ______(input movement) and use Prilepin’s chart to decide his reps. Once again we learned nothing…(new at least).

    Everyone will soon know that all Rudy has is his two athletes, EA and Talayna. Only EA was at my seminar and she was pretty awesome. I hope she finds a real coach soon so she has a chance to win the CF games. EA and Talayna has made it far in the Games with shitty coaching… imagine what the results are if they had good coaches.

    • OutlawNAY permalink

      Just to add some sunshine to your review, Talanya is no longer with Rudy. And by all accounts, she’s damn happy about it, and making crazy progress.

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