It’s all About the Gear

GEAR

Truthfully, that is probably the number one reason we all do CrossFit. It’s all about the gear. We are in the process of packing for our move the end of this month. I. Hate. Moving.  I have a lot of stuff. Multiple paris of shoes, jump ropes, chalk, bands, wraps, gloves, tape, the list goes on and on. And for what? Because it might help me go a little faster or lift a little more. Nonsense. Americans love to buy stuff. Some of the brightest minds in the country are dedicated to separating you from your money. They are good at it too. Since I seem to buy just about everything I thought it would be a good idea to provide my opinion on what stuff you actually need, versus which is a nice to have dust collector.

Shoes:

Definitely think the right shoes go a long way in helping you perform your best. Innov8s, Reebok Nano’s, and Lifting Shoes. I have gone through three pairs of Innov-8’s, two of the F-Lite 195 and one pair of the F-210’s. I like the latter the best. The 195’s are a little too flimsy for bigger guys like me. I did not like running in them because of the lack of support however they are great for rowing, jump rope, lighter lifting etc. The 210’s are very low to the ground and I like them for deadlifts. Almost the same as going barefoot.

The Nano’s are the best all around CrossFit shoe. No issues with running and due to the extra stiff sole, Olympic lifts like clean and snatch are good to go at moderate weights. I bought two pair of the Nano ‘s and have been alternating them for the past couple of months. Picking up a third pair would just be silly, right? Exactly. So i bought two pair of the 4.0’s when they came out too. So, now i have four pairs. When are the 5.0’s due? Oh wait, Nike MetCons are out…so we know where that will land. Just doing more research for you folks….

Olympic Lifting Shoes:

Oly

I own both the Romaleos and first generation Reebok lifters. Have been eyeing up the another pair of lifters and will more than likely have a pair in the next month or two. I really hope Jen is reading this as she seems to think I have a problem with shoes.

Nike Romaleos:

They are expensive. Probably the most costly of all the options however I think they are worth it. I have had mine for over three years and they still look and feel pretty new. The raised heel helps align your hips to get a deeper squat and the extra stiff sole allows you to drive up through your heels without getting the squishy shoe feeling. Nice solid foundation. You feel bolted to the ground.

Reebok Lifters:

I have a pair of the first generation and I probably wear these more often than the Romaleos, not because they are better, however because they are more versatile. Got a WOD with snatches/cleans/squats and other stuff like box jumps, prowler, etc. These will be fine all the way through. Would not recommend pure oly shoes for the other movements.

Shorts/Pants/Shirts:

I sweat. Ungodly amounts of sweat. I should be tested. I prove Under Armour a liar every time. Can’t wick me! I have tried the more expensive UA shirts and they are still soaked by the time I am done. I stick to two companies now when I need to cycle through clothes.

Uberfit:

1stslider

Uberfit is a local business and has grown pretty significantly over the past two years. The shirts have a wicking quality and have great logos and designs. You all know how I feel about cardio….the image below says it all. I have had Uberfit shirts for two years plus and they still are in good shape. I think that says a lot for the quality considering the punishment we dish out. Stones, yoke carries, front rack barbells, etc. They take a beating. Also offer shorts, pants, hats, wrist wraps, and just about everything else you could think of. Enter Rook25 during checkout and receive 25% off your entire order. http://www.uberfitapparel.com/ 

Uberfit

Hylete:

These are the only shorts i have bought in the past few years. I still have the original pair and no signs of them being worn. They are a little more expensive, however they last. They also have zipper pockets and for some reason that means a lot to me. No idea why. Enter CFROOK during checkout and get a discount. Kylie also has their backpack/bag and absolutely loves it. Pockets everywhere….

Rehab/Injury:

Everyone gets hurt. It’s part of the fun. Sprains, twists, pulls, or just being sore as hell they day after. It’s all completely and totally normal. Obviously if you are throwing up, bleeding, can’t sit up or stand without feeling sick from the pain a visit to the doctor or ER is in order, asap.

Rehaband:

Pretty much the gold standard for knee and elbow protection. I have used knee bands and they are very helpful. Guaranteed to see fellow CrossFit athletes donning them at any competition.

Ice Packs:

Exercise leads to inflammation. Inflammation leads to limited ROM. Ice leads to less inflammation. The cold pushes the blood away. Regular ice packs from CVS are fine for home. Just tried Arctic Ease which are really cool. They don’t require time in the freezer. It’s a cold elastic wrap that can carried with you and are perfect for post WOD icing with minimal prep.

Trigger Point:

Lacrosse ball, grid roller/foam roller/PVC. These items will help you work out knots, tight spots, etc. Definitely worth the purchase. Muscles get beat up, period. Also recommend massage therapy if you can swing it. Painful, however very rewarding afterwards.

Jump Ropes: 

If you are serious and plan on doing it for more than six months than your own rope is worth the expense. Beware of false advertising. Some will advertise they assist with making double-unders more easy, however in most cases they just allow you to whip yourself faster. Personally i like the metal ones, they really make a mark. Let’s you know you didn’t come close to doing it right. IT’s more than spinning it faster, jumping also required.

 Wrist Wraps/Tape:

Hands get beat up. Wrists get beat up. Callouses are formed and then torn which result in a blood freakin’ mess on the bars, floor, etc. Tape your stuff. Whether to go with athletic tape or wrist wraps for your wrists is a personal choice, however make the choice and use one. Tape around your thumbs when doing high volume cleans, snatches, overhead work, etc. Also helpful to tape your hands when doing high volume pull ups, ring work etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcS5lYs6DkU 

 

 

Eat to Perform

 

ETP Image 2

So i am trying Eat to Perform; http://www.eattoperform.com/ All I can say so far is that I can’t eat enough. It’s a ton of food. Also, three rest days a week. And rest means rest. Not my usual active rest bs, you know, where I don’t rest, just do other stuff. Mobility and Yoga is encouraged on rest days, however nothing strenuous. I am about two weeks in. No noticeable results at this point, however they do caution that it takes time and you have to commit to a full 90 days.

 


Advertised:

It focuses on Total Daily Energy Expenditures, or TDEE, gaining muscle size and strength, and eating strategically to provide fuel for workouts. Not centralized to CrossFit in any manner. Also stresses whole foods and carbs are a good thing, like rice and potatoes. I hope Paleo didn’t hear that…good God. Sustainable and flexible eatings plans, not short term dieting.

Lfits

Start the Process: http://www.eattoperform.com/start-here/

Weigh yourself. Have a glass of wine or a beer. It’s ok. Get a body fat assessment done. Have a bottle of wine or a six pack and finish it off with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Enter your information here: http://www.eattoperform.com/eat-to-perform-calculator/ Be sure to watch the video first. Enter the information again because you probably can’t believe you read the results right and obviously you entered something incorrectly. Nope, they are right.

ETP FUn

Purchase the E-Books and the Forum Membership?

A resounding YES. It’s $80.00 for a year. Not much money at all for having answers at your fingertips. Come on. We are CrossFitters. Usually higher than average disposable income and we are used to spending money for this stuff! A little caution however to do it only if you are really going to stick with it for three months. Just a thought.

Now What?

Head to the forum and enter your information. Explain you are a first timer and that you want some help understanding the TDEE calculations. A moderator, or which there are several, will review your numbers, answer questions, give you some pointers,etc. I have found they answer quickly and there are also people who aren’t moderators however they spend time on the boards and will offer advice.

ETP Image

 

MyFitnessPal:http: //www.myfitnesspal.com/

Definitely recommend a public profile on this page. It’s a pretty big database and will allow you to track your food intake. Make your profile public. That way the moderators from ETP can review your profile and make suggestions. 

It’s a bit early yet for me to give any real review of whether or not it works. I’ll give it another two and a half months and see where things land.

 

Eat-to-Perform-640x959

Being Humbled….

Kicked

 Two items: Steelers got humbled last night in a big way. So much for that streak and for the season. I thought 8-8 would be a pipe dream however they turned it around and won the division. At least we have that….Let’s Go New England. I hope Tom Brady has a career game. Take a picture. Probably the last time you’ll read that on this blog.

 

Second item. I got my tail handed to me yesterday.  WOD was as follows:

SPORT

In Teams of 2 with a Running Clock:

  • 30 – 20 – 10
  • AB for Cals (Assault Bike)
  • Pushups s(ring) f(regular)
  • 30 – 20 – 10
  • Power Snatch (115/75)
  • Toes to Bar
  • 30 – 20 – 10
  • Thrusters (115/75)
  • 200m Run (both partners run the 200m)

Our time was 33:33. Quite possibly one of the most challenging WOD’s I have completed. It didn’t seem bad on the board, however that was a huge mistake.

20130922-160419.jpg

 

We got through the cals on the AB and push-ups pretty quickly. Things turned to molasses when we hit the snatches and T2B. Those two movements together are crushers. Then it was game on with the Thrusters which also were challenging. Snatches and Thrusters we grouped in sets of 3-5. That was the most handleable way to get through the reps.

Then of course the next best thing to do was another WOD. We had an open house and we had two friends come in so it was game on again. A couple of 5 minute AMRPAP’s with push ups, KB swings, more assault bikes, rowing,…and of course burpees. Buck Furpees.

 

20130902-082458.jpg

Just finished breakfast and I have two crockpots going for foods this week. Heading out to yoga so I can get fixed. Pretty nice little Sunday. Maybe Bed, Bath & Beyond if we have time. Certainly won’t be watching football.

 

Greatest time of year is over….

3509614-holidays-are-over

The Holidays have come and gone. Definitely the best time of year. Everybody is a little happier and a little nicer.  Mostly because they are eating carbs. Nothing makes people smile like Mom’s Mac-n-Cheese. God bless the binge eating that occurs between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve! For many of us at 12 Labours, we affectionately call it Mass Season. Easy way to feel better about downing 5k calories in a day. Truth be told, it pays off! 76 PR’s for three rep back squats last week between the three facilities. Can’t go heavy if you don’t have energy.

2014 was a great year. Got a nephew in January. Work went very well. Kylie and I ate and drank our way through Charleston SC, which I highly recommend. Got back on track with hitting the box regularly which was much needed. According to Wodify I hit 32 PR’s which is good. I aim for one a week, which would be 52, however I am not as dedicated about tracking scores as I should be, so I’ll take it. December was the best with six. Obviously the extra eating and “cocktails” paid off. Alcohol is a fuel you know.

Back Squat:

355 x 3

375 x 1

Front Squat:

300 x 1

Dead Lift, a.k.a. the best lift:

455 x 1

Press:

205 x 1

Push Jerk a.k.a push press….

215 x 3

225 x 1

Grace:

4:14 vs. 6:38

Fight Gone Bad:

272 vs. 265

5K Row:

20:59 vs. 21:59

1K Row:

3:50 vs 3:58

What is more exciting for me is being a part of others hitting a PR. That’s what CrossFit has over every other training experience. It’s the Community. Pushing other people to achieve something they thought was far out of reach.

What’s in store for 2015? Back to the basics.

1) Do the whole warm-up

Yes, I am guilty of doing about a third of what is on the board. Some stuff I just don’t do. Wall runs for example. Running…you all know my opinion there.

2) Mobility…every damn day

Busted up and creaky. Need to work out the kinks.

3) Sports massage once a month

Had one Wednesday evening and I was able to walk normally. Absolutely zero pain in my knee. She found the spots and lifted me off the table a few times. To say i was tight and had congestion is an understatement.

4) Box Jumps

Only way to get better at them is to practice. Good times. I hate them.

5) Practice double unders every time I walk in the box

Still can’t get these going. It’s a mission in 2015

6) Follow Eat To Perform

I did WLC a couple of times. The last time we went through perfect. Zero cheats. Didn’t have much of an impact. So we will give this a shot for ninety days and see what the results are.

7) Compete

I have two competitions lined up already and looking for more.

That’s enough for now.

 

The Day Before KALSU….

Two things stood in my way of attending Midnight Filthy Fifty. Sleep and a few Ketel One martinis. Heard there was an excellent turnout and we may make it next year. No CrossFit today, the only WOD will be eating. It’s an AMFAP. As many forkfuls as possible.

 

Happiness....

 

Friday is KALSU and today is dedicated to carb-loading. I have never attempted KALSU before however I hear it is quite rewarding. EMOM Burpees and Thrusters. How bad can it be? Probably this bad…..Looking forward to it. I am sure it will be spectacular.

Bodies Hit the Floor

 

What is KALSU you may ask? It incorporates two of the most notoriously puke-tastic CrossFit movements. Burpees and Thrusters. Still want to know more? EMOM, every minute on the minute, five burpees followed by as many thrusters as you can in the remaining minute. The goal? Besides not puking, passing out, pissing yourself…etc. Hit 100 thrusters. 95# for the dudes, 65# for the ladies, and the bar for those who are new to thrusters.

Who is KALSU? A true American badass, that’s who. Story: http://www.si.com/nfl/2014/09/04/name-wall-si-60-william-nack-bob-kalsu

KALSU

 

Plan of Attack:

Any thoughts about beating this WOD make about as much sense as the following image. Lace up, chalk up, man up and embrace the suck.

At Dawn...we ATTACK!

 

Five burpees followed by five thrusters is where I will start. That seems like a logical plan. Every three to five minutes do the five burpees and rest the remaining time. Also thinking about how to complete the burpee. The Taylor flop or stepping back one foot at a time. Whichever method that will conserve energy is preferred. Lots and lots of hamstring stretches. Tight hammys and burpees don’t go together. Shoulders and forearms will get smoked. It is what it is. Just. Keep. Moving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Week’s Wrap Up

Week Ending 10-26-14

Sixth week of WLC is over. Almost caved last night as I was ready for cocktails and either waffles or a cheese steak, depending on which truck was parked at Jailbreak. Instead it was a dinner in night with sushi which was great. HALT. Don’t make decisions when you are hungry, angry, lonely, or thirsty for IPA’s. The last one is our add on. It’s supposed to be tired.

MON-FITNESS

Back Squat – work to a heavy 8 rep in 4 sets 8-8-8-8

***5-10 pounds heavier than your last 10rep back squat

+

6 min AMRAP

5 burpees

25ft bear crawl

This was a good way to start the week. Finished 300 for a set of eight which was good. Legs were beat up for a day or two however it was worth it. Bear crawl and I don’t get along, so i subbed KB swings.

 

TUES-FITNESS

15 min AMRAP

30 double unders

20 Walking lunge steps (35/25)

10 pullups/ring rows

60 singles, unweighted lunges, and ring rows. I forget how many rounds, however it was tougher than it looks. Lunges are no joke. Everyone walked funny until Thursday.

 

WED-SPORT

5 sets of the following for time:

5 Bench Press (BW)

10 Russian KB Swings (2/1.5)

15 Abmat situps

20 Cals on Rower

rest 3 min b/t sets

This was the best one of the week, 185-205 on the bench, 100lb KB. all rounds were 2:15 – 2:40. The row was a lot more challenging that I thought it would be. Seemed like forever to get to twenty calories.

FRI-FITNESS

15 min ascending ladder:

1 squat clean thruster (115/75)

1 burpee over the bar

run 200m

2 squat clean thrusters

2 burpees over the bar

run 200m

This was the best squat cleans have felt, period. I wasn’t chasing the bar, got deep enough. Did all unbroken. BOB or burpees over bar are not fun.

Thursday was a rest day. Saturday we did some errands and favors that almost counted as a workout so we’ll take it. Off to Patapsco this morning for a run. Berger is finally rested up from her last visit.

Five Weeks In….

Sandwich Guy

 

We just finished our fifth week of Whole Life Challenge. We have only cheated a few times, and let’s face it, when Lobster Mac’n Cheese is on the menu, you order it, and then crush it as though you haven’t eaten in days. We had some dessert for Kylie’s birthday, because what’s a birthday without cake? Or in this case, two cinnamon brownies with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, shaved chocolate and caramel sauce. Yes, it was awesome.

SG

All in all my energy level has been pretty good. I had the usual paleo flu the first week, however nothing ridiculous. I do know that i have to eat some rice or something once in a while. A full day or two without any carbs isn’t pretty. Grumpypants. Hit a few PR’s so far. Took two minutes off my Grace time and hit 285 back squat for ten reps. Previous had been 275 for 10. I have been running, scratch that, jogging on the weekends and that has been better. Five miles yesterday and three today. Knee is a little pissed at me, but let’s face it, i haven’t been kind to it. Back to PT next week where I am sure they will tell me to quit CrossFit and I’ll smile and nod.

Has anyone else tried Progenex Cookies and Cream yet? Big win. Mix some with ice and water in the blender and it is the same as a milkshake! Not, but it’s always good to hope. Remember that if you believe it, it must be true. They make the best tasting protein on the market and I think I have tried just about all of them. Maybe it was hydrolyzed and now it’s not or whatever the rumor is however I notice faster recovery times and results when I hit the awesome-sauce. Bottoms up.

progenex

Progenex Force is also a very solid pre-workout supplement. I used to swear by No-Xplode and I like Force better. It makes your face tingle so you know it’s good. I think the Beta Alanine is what gives you the pin prick fresh face feeling. Lactic acid blocking little dickens. I notice I don’t have the crash I used to get from other versions. This tends to last longer. Works great for a quick ten minute AMRAP or a longer run/jog/trudge march. Progenex: http://progenexusa.com/

force-pkg-mockup

 

What other goodies? Xendurance, PurePharma Vitamin packs, and FitAid. So basically, it looks like i just replaced booze and junk food with supplements. Whatevs. We go through this stuff just for the toys, the gear, and the awesome-sauce.

FitAid is a more paleo friendly version of KillCliff. The pre-workout/recovery/whenever you want one drink. Similar packaging with the taller slender can. Thank you Red Bull. It has all the joint friendly additives lick glucosamine, turmeric, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, green tea. You know, all of the good stuff that we never get enough of according to the supplement companies. Link: https://www.drinkfitaid.com/

fitaid