Whole Life Challenge

My second trip through Whole Life Challenge is complete. It was a much better experience than the first time. Cheat meals were at a minimum. I lost 13 pounds. Didn’t lose anything in inches which is weird however I am not getting hung up on it.

I was able to shave nearly two minutes off my WOD time which is a 19 percent improvement. Five rounds, 135lb. dead lift for 10 reps followed by fifteen wall balls at 20lbs. First round was 9:50 and my last round was 7:56. Definitely happy about that; however it’s never good enough!

Key Factors:

Meal Planning. Fail to plan, plan to fail. Paleo is inconvenient. Unless you have meals and snacks ready to go, you will wind up hungry or eating something you shouldn’t. Sundays were a day of cooking for the week. We definitely ate out less and saved some money; however grocery store trips were more frequent and more expensive. Not too mention we ran the dishwasher every day!

Exercise. Every day we did something. It can be as easy as taking the dog for a long walk at a faster than normal pace, or yoga, or a serious WOD.

Mobility: I think I spent more time on Mobility WOD than any other site. Do them all! Ten to fifteen minutes every day helps flexibility and your mind. It’s good to unplug or disconnect for a while.

Cheat: we definitely had some cheat days. Beers on opening day. Ice cream after dinner. Take the zero and move on. It helped us stay sane! Well as much as we are anyway.

I am definitely happier about the progress made during our second WLC. Now we just have to keep going. Paleo is the real deal. My first cheat meal after it was done was brown rice on my burrito bowl. REBEL!

Knock it out of the par this week.

Rest Days; Take Them

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Image courtesy of Jessica Sepel

Wednesday is one of my favorite days of the week. It is a rest day. I am still up early however I am not heading to CrossFit BWI for a WOD. Time to repair the damage I did on Monday and Tuesday, which was pretty serious. Those WOD’s were no joke.

I used to not take rest days and then wondered why I was tired and was always sore. It shouldn’t have taken me that long to figure it out. I am stubborn. So be it. “I paid the dues so I am going” six or seven days a week. Not very conducive to healing. We spend a lot of time tearing down our muscles so we have to give them time to heal.

The only time we grow is when we sleep. That explains why I am 5’8″ and my brother is 6’4″. When we were growing up he would sleep to noon, and I would be up early. He slept more so he grew more. That makes scientific sense, right? The same is true for muscles repairing themselves. All of those dead lifts from yesterday tore the muscle fibers in your legs, back, arms, and shoulders. That is why your muscles are sore. Now they need time to put themselves back together, and get bigger so they are harder to tear. They can’t heal if you are tearing them apart four days in a row.

So, what is active rest? Stretching, Yoga, light exercise like walking the dog, slow swim, etc. Fran doesn’t qualify as active rest, and neither do Turkish Get Ups. I hate those things. I take two rest days a week. Sunday is the active rest day with Yoga. Wednesday is an off day, with the exception of the next few weeks because of Whole Life Challenge. I’ll probably get in the pool for a while this afternoon and do so mobility work tonight.

Mobility. Very much needed and probably overlooked by those who need it the most, including myself. Click here. Kelly Starrett has been kind enough to post videos for just about every type of issue with a solution. Need to work on squat depth, should not working, ankles not loose enough, etc. Do a quick search on his site and you’ll find a half a dozen different suggestions to get rid of the sticky junk and become a supple leopard.

Today I’ll eat a little more, all Paleo of course. Need to load up the fuel tank for tomorrow morning’s fun and provide enough nutrients for the necessary repairs. I’ll spend some quality time with the grid roller and a lacrosse ball. Getting old sucks, however it does beat the alternative.

Take your rest days. Eat well. Kick ass tomorrow morning.

Ten Things That Will Happen When you Start CrossFit

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CrossFit is taking over. Chances are above average there is at least one Box within five miles of your house, and another getting ready to open. It is taking over because it works. It is a holistic approach to fitness that incorporates strength, cardio, flexibility, nutrition, and a bunch of other good stuff.

Thinking about starting? You should if you want any of the following to happen:

10) You will be Excited/Nervous/Apprehensive

Everybody had a first day and had the same feelings. It is the same as the first day of school or your first day at a new job. Most of the members are nice and are welcoming. Every place has one or two who aren’t friendly and that’s fine. Find the ones who are and hang out with them. Surround yourself with good people and good things happen.

9) Finishing Last is OK

Everybody finishes last at least once. I still do. It is part of learning. Try not to sacrifice form for time. Scaling is a good thing. The trainer will be able to help determine the right weight or the right substitute. It takes time and lots of practice to get better, however it does happen! Push yourself at every WOD. Always give 100%.

8) Getting Beat Up

No, not by the bully. Muscles that you didn’t even know you had will hurt. You will get strains, pulls, pops, tweaks, cracks, and creeks. Knees, ankles, and shoulders will be swollen and sore. It is part of the fun. There is a difference between good hurt and bad pain. Talk to your trainer and let them know what is happening. They can make recommendations. Stretching and ice packs are your friend. I have one on my knee right now.

7) These Workouts are HARD……and Rewarding

I started at a local gym when I was 16. Basic lifting with some cardio. I did that for fifteen years before I started CrossFit. I do not remember having a workout so difficult that I laid on the floor flat on my back, unable to catch my breath. Now it happens two or three times a week.

6) Make some very good Friends

We have met so many great people at CrossFit, we don’t remember what it was like before we met them. They become your support group. Everyone is going through the same WOD’s together, so you better cheer each other on.

5) Paying more Attention to what you eat

Good stuff in, good stuff out. Whole Life Challenge, Whole Thirty, Paleo, Zone, etc. Ten to one your local Box will host nutritional seminars or have a challenge which will help you eat better. Once you eat better, you will perform better.

4) Competitiveness

After a few weeks the competition gene will kick in. It’s natural. We aren’t that long out of the caves. Our ancestors called competition “survival”. This can be a blessing and a curse all in one. Try to compete only against yourself for a while. Competing against the elite athletes is a sure-fire path to disappointment. Set realistic goals and expectations.

3) Going all in

It can easily become obsessive. The gear, shoes, clothing, food, etc. It’s a great cult! Some people CrossFit to get better at other sports and some CrossFit to get better at CrossFit. It doesn’t matter. Doing CrossFit properly and eating better will make your more healthy and improve your quality of life. Give it a few months before you drop two bills on the Romaleos. They help however they are pricey.

It won’t take long before all of your family and friends know you are a CrossFitter. It will be plastered on your Facebook page and it’s all you’ll talk about. It is fine.

2) Surprise, You’re a Beast

Things that you immediately thought you couldn’t do, you will do, and it will feel awesome. You will start repping out heavy dead lifts, squatting more than you weigh, and then following it up with a run or getting on the rower. Double Unders will become second nature. Yanking lbs over your head while in a full squat, otherwise known as the snatch, will get easy. Alright, easier.

1) Why did I Wait so Long to try CrossFit?

I don’t know. Why did you?

You will notice improvements in any sports you play. Also in your professional and personal life. I am sure you have heard “get your head right and your body will follow.” The opposite is true as well. Get your body right and your head will follow. No sense in getting in shape before you try CrossFit. Just try it.

I hope you decide to take advantage of the free session offered by CrossFit boxes. It is well worth it!

January is Almost Over….

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Which means less people in the gym! It was actually empty the past two days which I think was the result of our unseasonably warm streak. People took to the trails and streets for running and biking.

It also means the Whole Life Challenge is right around the corner. I strongly suggest you enter the competition. It’s $45.00 but you will learn a lot about yourself. It is worth it!

I have not been getting to the pool in the afternoon so the cardio has been lacking. I plan on going his afternoon. As usual, the goal is not to drown, and not to drink more than a gallon of pool water. I don’t remember swimming being so difficult or so tiring.

Tuesday’s WOD:

Rep Count: 7, 5, 3, 3, 1

Shoulder Press

Weight: 135, 145, 155, 165, 175

Three Rounds:
5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 squats

Wednesday:

Rep Count:
10, 7, 5, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3

Weight: 135, 185, 225, 225, 225, 245, 245

Three Rounds:
5 pull ups
10 dips
15 sit ups

Last Week of October

Trick or Treat…no candy for you because you thought it would be a good idea to do Whole Life Challenge!

It isn’t that bad. I don’t like candy, however if they were handing out IPA’s with corn dogs, we’d have a problem! Two weeks to go in the challenge. We did break down Saturday night and have a few cocktails. That will be it until the end of the challenge.

WOD’s:

Monday:

Workout of the Day
Max Snatch(Full) in 20 min

then
7 Min AMRAP
7 Overhead Squat 95/65
7 Burpee over Bar

Three rounds and a few OHS

then

5 min AMRAP
20 Unbroken Wall Ball Shots

2 rounds and a lot of ten wall ball rounds

Tuesday:

4 sets
10 (CTB) Pull Ups
10 Deadlift 225
Run 400m
rest 4 min

Thursday:

5 sets
60 Sec Row for Cal 22, 20, 22, 23, 19
60 Sec Singles 87, 63, 79, 85, 62
rest 2 min

Friday: 

Max Power Clean in 20 min

185lbs.

then

Press 3,2,1,3,2,1; rest 30 sec

135, 155, 175 (f) 155, 165, 175(f)

Unbroken Kb Swings 20 reps 2 pood

rest 2 min

Saturday:

for time:
1000m Row
30 Db Front Squats 45/30
30 T2B

Tuesday: 

20 Min AMRAP
Row 500m
15 GHD Sit Ups
AMRAP Strict Ring Pull Ups

5 rounds, 12 pull ups