“Dialing In”

This is a term used to describe the process of tuning the necessary variables to extract a beautiful espresso. High-end coffee shops do this at least once per day to find the “recipe” which includes how many grams of ground coffee will go into the portafilter (into the machine), how many grams of brew coffee will come out, and how long (in seconds) the extraction will take. Other variables that will affect the taste of the coffee include the grind setting (more coarse or more fine), temperature, and pressure. 

The interesting thing about this attunement process is that there is a new recipe made at least each day with the same exact beans on the same exact machine. This is where art meets science in coffee and I’d venture to bet this isn’t just a matter of coffee. 

Our lives, in part, are a game of mastering the elements and adjusting to them. With so much variability, our plans (or recipes) are in need of constant tweak and change (or plenty of dissonance to pretend it doesn’t). What worked yesterday might not work today and expecting to change with our varied environment is an important perspective to hold if we want to have a fighting chance. 

There’s a lesson, though, we can learn about “dialing in” high level espresso that speaks to the science of such processes beyond coffee. When you want to make an adjustment to your espresso recipe, you only change one variable at a time. If you want a sweeter extraction, you don’t make the grinds more coarse and put less grams of coffee in the machine. You change one variable and see if you’re moving towards a better result. 

When making life changes, especially in health and fitness, I challenge you to make singular small adjustments as you go to “dial in”. Go to sleep earlier. See how you feel. I’d prefer you do this rather than cutting out all dairy, going to sleep earlier, intermittent fasting, doubling your running mileage, and quitting coffee all at once. 

Dial in one variable at a time, folks. 


Logan Gelbrich  


11/6/19 WOD


Back Squat


Then, complete the following for time:

Run 1 Mile


8 rounds:

2 Hang Snatches (135/95)

4 Muscle Ups