You Might be Addicted to CrossFit

crossfit

CrossFit is addictive for several reasons, primarily because members see results, it’s fun, and it’s kind of counter culture. We do stuff most people don’t want to try because they have been programmed to believe the only way to get in shape is by eating 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day, doing sixty minutes of cardio on a stair master and doing high reps with light weight. It is possible to get addicted and if you fit any of the scenarios below, welcome to the club.

“This one time at CrossFit.” It’s all you ever talk about for starters!

Dropping $65.00 on a pair of shorts in which you will only sweat is no big deal. “Look! they have green too!”

Nanos, Innov-8’s, Romaleos, Chucks. You have at least one pair of each, probably two, because they were on “sale”. There is no more room on the floor in your closet.

You can’t walk without wincing, your shoulders are pulled to your ears, can’t unclinch your hands, however you find out tomorrow’s WOD is Fran. Of course you are going. It’s only your eighth day in a row. You’ll rest when you are dead.

Bank statement reads Reebok e-commerce, Zappos, Progenex, Lulu-lemon, Main Street butcher, and Juan’s house of tequila……because its Paleo!

Hear the name Eva and you don’t think of Mendes or Longoria, sadly. Your face contorts while contemplating a 2.5 mile run and 150 pull ups and KB swings.

There is more than one picture of you performing a HSPU or pistols somewhere other than the box, like a bar. Because you are hardcore and nothing brings out hardcore like a happy hour gone awry. This is more out of jealousy because I can’t do either.

Your charm bracelet has a barbell, a dumbbell, a Kettlebell, a tire, Rx, and a steak.

You’ve had to buy a bigger lunch box……more than once.

To everyone else Memorial Day sleeping in, pool time, and BBQ’s. You’ve got a date with Murph and it better not last more than 45 minutes. If it goes over an hour…..don’t think about that!

You’ve checked Community by-laws and discovered there is no specific language regarding tire flips. GAME ON! Maybe they’ll let you store them in the pool house!

You’ve been invited by your chiropractor to attend their child’s high school graduation party. It’s only fair, you’ve practically paid their tuition.

There is a lacrosse ball and a field hockey ball in your desk at work. You don’t play and never have.

A co-worker shows up for a meeting six minutes late. Immediately you calculate she owes you thirty burpees.

Shaker bottles have taken over one of your cabinets and they are still multiplying.

First introductions to women named Cindy, Fran, and Diane do not go well.

You’ve purchased half of a grass fed cow and are wondering if you should have bought a bigger freezer and gotten the whole cow.

Callous shavers. One at home, one in your gym bag, one at work. You’ve caught yourself picking at them in meetings and didn’t stop.

I wonder if the neighbors will mind if I put a rower on my patio?

You’re looking for a video of the 21k row, which lasts an hour plus, and you’ll watch the whole thing. Freak

How many jump ropes do I need? I need the one that helps me do Double Unders! Obviously it’s the rope!!! Back off.

I’m not addicted. I can take a rest day anytime I want. I’ll start next week.

In all honesty it’s a great addiction to have focusing on health will always put you ahead. Take rest days otherwise you will get injured and won’t be able to play. Hit it out of the box this week.

CrossFit Rook

Ten Crossfit Truths

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I am coming up on my two year anniversary of CrossFit. “Come on in.” they said. “It’ll be fun.” they said. It has been fun and I have learned a lot. Before I wrote this blog I searched for other blogs with a similar topic and found more entries about CrossFit myths. Below is my take on the truths.

1) CrossFit is not a cult. The best boxes are a community comprised of individuals striving to get better in each of the ten components of CrossFit. No flowing white robes. No Kool-aid. Just people focused on getting better.

2) CrossFit is addictive. I have yet to meet anyone who was not hooked after their first WOD. It hurts. It leaves you gasping, in the fetal position, on the floor. It makes you wonder how the 125 lb woman next to you lifted more, lifted it faster, and isn’t sweating nearly as profusely. It is also fun as hell and provides a sense of accomplishment which is unmatched.

3) CrossFit is contagious. It’s all we talk about. I am sure our friends and family get tired of hearing about it, until they try a WOD. Then it’s on like donkey kong.

4) Not all athletes are “elite”. I hate the word elite. Almost as much as I hate the words epic or slim fit. Froning is elite. Iceland Annie is elite. They also have all day to train, eat, and rest. I am not trying to be the best in the world, only better than who I was yesterday. Most if our trainers are top shelf athletes and I appreciate the dedication. You don’t have to be elite to CrossFit.

5) Competition is powerful. “I can’t do that.” is soon replaced with “Holy hell, I did that!”. Competing against both yourself and others is a sure fire way to get better.

6) CrossFit is expensive. Dues, $150 – $200. Progenex $60. Nanos or Innov8, $90-$125. Reebok, Lululemon or Under Armour shorts, shirts, pants, etc. $$$$$. It is an investment in yourself. Aren’t you worth it? The clothes don’t have a huge impact so save the dollars and invest in the gear like shoes and a custom fit jump rope. A quality post WOD protein is also a good idea.

7) CrossFit does not get easy. It just sucks a little less. The workout is going to punch you square in the throat. Would we want it any other way? It’s only thirty minutes, or less in most cases.

8) The WODS you hate are the WODS you should not miss. Yesterday was a perfect example for me. Nicole. 20 min AMRAP of 400 meter runs and AMRAP pull ups. I hate both, hence I hate Nicole. Don’t skip the stuff at which we suck, as we would never get any better.

9) Nutrition is the foundation. Paleo is preferred by most CrossFitters I know however that does not mean it is the best. Each athlete has to test which plans work the best based on individual needs. Drinking three nights a week while alternating cheeseburgers, pizza, and fried Oreos is not a plan conducive to increased physical performance, sadly.

10) Rest and mobility are important. Lifts, running, rowing, push-ups, etc., all result in torn muscle fibers. That is why we are sore after a workout. Rest and mobility work help heal the tears, making the muscle fibers thicker and tougher. Skipping these is the equivalent if skipping the lift or the workout all together.

11) CrossFitters tend to push harder and want more…..whether it is physically, professionally, or personally. No quitting. No giving up. No time outs. Every rep, set, and round counts. There are no shortcuts. Skip a rep, suffer the wrath.

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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.

First Week Back

This week was my first week back and the kickoff of Whole Life Challenge, so it was a double whammy!

For those of you who are not familiar with WLC, it’s well worth it. It is an eight week program where exercise, mobility work, and perfect nutrition are the goals. It can be challenging, however it is well worth it. I lost about 10 lbs the last time, unfortunately I found it again. These things happen.

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, nuts, seeds, some fruit, and good fats like coconut and avocado.

None of this:

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Lots of This:

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I published a blog not too long ago about Paleo. It can be expensive, time consuming, and frustrating, however if it was easy, it wouldn’t be any fun! Work with me people.

The first couple of days are the hardest because your body is clearing itself of a drug. It it is similar to other withdrawals. Speaking of which, please watch Flight if you have not already. Wow. Your body is addicted to sugar and when you take it away, your body wants it again. You will survive. You will get through it. You will feel better and perform better.

It was great to get back to CrossFit this week. Working out in a regular gym is fine but it’s not the same. I definitely pushed myself harder and got a much higher caliber of a workout. As proof, I am having a tough time walking today. Quality time with the roller is needed.

First Wod:
Nicole
20 min AMRAP
500 M Row
AMRAP pull ups

I subbed rowing for running and got six rounds and forty two pull ups. I was pretty beat afterwards. It felt great.

Second WOD:
Six Rounds
10 BW Bench Press
30 Slam Balls
100 ft BW stone carry

I scaled this down and kept the bench press weights between 185 and 205. Subbed 20 squats for slam balls and used a 115 lb. stone. I didn’t record the time. I was just glad to be done!

Third WOD:
Five Rounds
10 reps of 185 lb dead lift
15 Wall Balls

I subbed 135lbs and did the wall balls. TIme was 9:50.

So, You are Thinking About Going Paleo

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You have taken the plunge and are Nano deep in CrossFit. You have taken a sip of the Kool-Aid and are now ready to go all in! It’s time to go Paleo.

Primal Paleo Beginnings:

So, literally the beginning of Paleo is from our primate cave dwelling ancestors. Think paleolithic era….see the connection? Animal fur coats, spears, horrible BO. You’ve got the idea. This period lasted for roughly 2.5 million years and supposedly our ancestors were stronger, with bigger brains, and suffered less disease. It came to an end roughly 10,000 years ago with the agricultural movement; i.e. processed food.See Here

What is Paleo?

Eat lean meat, poultry, fish, seafood, vegetables, some fruit, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats like avocado and animal fats. Don’t trim that steak! Stay away from dairy, starch, processed sugar and processed carbohydrates, legumes (means beans and peanuts people), and sadly alcohol. Nothing is perfect.

What does it Do?

What happens about an hour after you eat a big serving of pasta or bread? You get hungry again, right? It doesn’t make sense considering you just consumed more than enough calories to get you through a few hours. Spikes in blood sugar cause the feeling and the mood swings, etc. that come with it. A Paleo diet stabalizes your blood sugar and some other helpful things as well. Check them out here

Paleo and CrossFit:

CrossFit Approved version here. I am not sure if CrossFit Headquarters fully sponsors Paleo or not. I thought I had read a few things about them moving to Zone. All I know is the best CrossFit athletes I know follow the Paleo eating plan. Want to be successful? Study those who are successful, and then copy the hell out of them, tweaking only what you need to make it better for you.

First Week:

Usually sucks. High grocery bill. Spend all day cooking. Need to buy enough tupperware for a family of eight. Then there is the detox. Sugar is a drug. What happens when a drug addict goes without a fix, minus knocking over a gas station? They come down hard. The same is true here. When your body goes without sugar, it craves sugar, and it results in irritability, headaches, stomach pains in some cases. Is it worth it? Hell yes! That crap is no good for you! Stop eating it.

High Grocery Bill:

It’s not cheap to eat healthy. One of the keys to the agricultural age we referenced earlier was to make it easier for people to get food. How did we do that? By processing everything and in turn removing many of the nutrients or just using plain crap to begin with. Animals were taken from the fields and stored in commercialized farms where they were fed hormones and god knows what else to fatten them up more quickly. You can imagine how that ends. Garbage in, garbage out. It is expensive to eat healthy however you are investing in your health. How can you make it more affordable?

Buy in bulk. Find a local butcher and see if you can go in with family or friends from the gym. That makes it easier for meat. Another option is Costco. It might not be grass fed but it is cheaper than what you pay in the grocery store.

Farmer’s Market or Farm Co-op. Again this is a great opportunity to split with family or friends and as our society is beginning to recognize the importance of a better diet, more of these are popping up. A quick Google search is usually all it takes to find one near you.

Preparation:

Fail to plan and plan to fail. Planning meals ahead of time is pretty much a necessity. It is also a great way to save a few bucks by planning your meals around what is on sale at the grocery store. Kylie is the queen of planning meals. Kylie is my wife and partner in crime.

It does take more time to make meals and prepare breakfast and lunch for the work week, however it is very worth the investment. There are hundreds of websites and cook books with meal ideas. Take advantage of the wealth of information that is available on the Internet. It’s more than just games and Facebook.

Detox:

It sucks. You’ll get through it. Just remember that if you cave and eat some junk, you’ll have to start the detox process again. I’ve done it quite a few times. Fall off the wagon and then just get right back on!

Second Week and Forward:

You will notice that your joints don’t hurt as much and you will have more energy. You will also probably sleep better as well. All pretty good benefits. Your workouts will be better and you will generally “feel” better. Friends have stated they no longer get headaches like they used to, etc.

Following are a couple of links that are really helpful including the Whole Life Challenge which is a great way to get started. By tracking your score daily and journaling, you are keeping yourself more accountable.

Whole9

Whole Life Challenge

paleOMG

Have fun out there.

Don’t Bargain with Yourself

We live in an age of compromise. We are told that we can’t always have everything we want. We spend a lot of time negotiating, whether it be to purchase a car or get a child to eat their broccoli. Bargaining is part of business and personal relationships. We can’t get away from it. This all fine and good however we should not compromise or bargain with ourselves when it comes to diet and getting our WOD on!

Here is how it usually goes. The WOD will have box jumps, something which I suck at, and I will immediately bargain with myself to do half regular and to the other half as step ups. It is a great method to continually not do well at box jumps. We all have movements with which we struggle. Remember that the only way to get better is to practice. Don’t sacrifice your results for the clock. Being fast at a scaled version does not feel as good as writing Rx on the board.

My other favorite is bargaining that I can eat something bad or have a few cocktails and make up for it the following day with a run or “working out harder”. We know how that ends. Doesn’t happen. I am guilty of this a well.

In the end, Who are you bargaining with? Only yourself! Why purposefully short change yourself? You have already paid the dues, bought the funny looking shoes, and are all chalked up. Might as well see it through.

We often short change ourselves by automatically thinking we can’t do something, often without trying. Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’ll be right. Courtesy of Henry Ford. So what if it takes you longer to complete the WOD as prescribed. Our friends at CrossFit Syndicate recently wrote a blog pertaining to this subject: http://cfsyndicate.com/?p=5040

My point is that you may have to negotiate or bargain in other aspects of your life; however your diet and the quality and intensity of your WODs are off limits.

Break a record this week. Try something you haven't tried before. I recommend the HSPU slingshot!

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

The Ten CrossfitRook Commandments

Below are ten  tips I have learned during my CrossFit experience. I don’t always follow them, however when I do, I usually have better results. Please feel free to comment and add your tips.

10) Show up Mentally and Emotionally Prepared

It is an hour of your day. Be ready to go when you get to the box. Leave family and work stress at the door. This is your time. If your head isn’t right, the WOD won’t be right either.

9) Drink the Kool-Aid

Is CrossFit kind of like a cult? Sure is. We wear funny looking shoes, have our own language, and we talk about it all of the time. Get a few of us together and others will look at us like we have two heads. It is O.K. It is a good cult. We want everyone to be healthy and to succeed. Now, if your trainer shows up wearing a white robe, and asks you to drink the actual Kool-Aid, turn around and run.

8) Compete Against Yourself

CrossFit is definitely moving into the mainstream. ESPN 2 now regularly shows the Games. It is easy to fall into a trap of comparing yourself to the professional athletes, or the elite athletes at your local box. Try not too. Track your times and weights for the WOD’s. You will notice that you are getting stronger and faster, keep competing against yourself or against other team members who are similar.

7) Don’t Scale Only to be Faster

I often fall into this trap. I am worried about time so I sub ring rows for pull-ups    because I can do them faster. Guess what? I am good at ring rows and still suck at pull ups. Not quite what I wanted. Check with your trainer and ask their opinion. If it is a WOD that is supposed to be fast, it might be OK to sub. The only way you get better at the movements is to practice,…a lot.

6) YES YOU CAN!

One of the beauties of CrossFit is that any WOD can be scaled. There are substitutes if you have not yet mastered HSPUS or DU’s; however don’t talk yourself out of it if you haven’t even tried it! Give it an honest effort and then sub if needed.

5) Do the Whole Warm-Up

O.K., so the three legged dog looks dumb as hell and I hate baby elephant, but guess what, you have to warm up the muscles and stretch to reduce the chance of injury. Don’t, and you’ll be out of action for a while.

4) Celebrate the Wins

Don’t always focus on the weights you didn’t do, focus on the records you set. Every box has a bell for PR’s, ring it! You are going to get stronger and faster. You will accomplish things that you previously thought weren’t possible. Be happy!

3) ]Don’t Stop, you are not Going to Catch your Breath

It may sound odd, however it happens to me quite often. I am in the middle of doing a WOD and I feel like if I just got ten or fifteen seconds, I could catch my breath and then finish out. It doesn’t happen and instead my time is a lot longer. Just keep going, try not to stop.

2) Nutrition is Just as More Important than Exercise

Proper Nutrition is the Foundation

The image above shows that nutrition is the foundation. GIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out. Changes to your diet such as following Paleo will result in quicker and bigger gains. You are asking your body to do more so don’t you need better fuel?

1) Listen to Your Trainer

Your trainer wasn’t born knowing all of the movements and lifts. They made mistakes and learned the correct form. Listen to them. They want to make sure you get a quality workout and are not injured.

August is Over….

August is over and so is Summer. Flew by this year to say the least. It seems like it was the middle of June and then all of a sudden, it is Labor Day. It is fine because Fall is my favorite time of year. No humidity and football is on.

So, what did I learn during the last two weeks?

I did six days in a row with no rest. Paid the price on Sunday. I was beat. I won’t be doing that again.

I did better at Cindy. For some reason that one seems like it won’t be bad and then after three rounds you realize it just got real.

I was happy with the 145lb stone work. That was the heaviest I had done.

We are now getting ready for the Whole Life Challenge which starts in two weeks. So you know what that means! A little unhealthy living. Nothing too crazy. Chipotle….corn chips and rice. Look out!

https://www.wholelifechallenge.com/

56 Days of fish, meat, chicken, vegetables, avocados, a little fruit, some nuts….and that’s about it.

None of this…

None of this:

Five Guys Burger and Fries

WOD’s:

1)

12 min AMRAP
2 EROM HSPU* (used 45lb plates to get lower)
4 TGU Right 16/12kg
4 TGU Left 16/12kg

2)

5 sets
3 Heavy Bench Press; rest 10 sec (225 -275lb)
30 Russian Kb Swings; rest 5 min (1.5 pood)

then
5 sets
5 Hang Power Clean; rest 10 sec (135lb)
30 Push Ups; rest 5min

3)

Two Rounds:

Teams of 4 – 2 guys, 2 girls ..One guy and one girl may work at a time.

150 DUs or 300 Singles

80 Pushups

60 DL- 135, 95

40- Ring Rows

10 – Sled Pushes-30 m – 2 people must push sled

4)

5 rds for time
10 CTB Pull Ups
30 Air Squat
Row 300/250m

5)

3 sets
90 sec Tire Flips(Heavy Enough to get 2-3 flips) partner 700lb tire
90 sec Box Jumps On Tire
rest 3 min

then
3 sets
60 sec Viper Press 95lbs 7-10 reps per round
60 sec Burpees
rest 2 min

7)

A1. Back Squat@30×1; 3 reps x 5 sets; rest 10 sec (265lb)
A2. Weighted Pull Ups@21×1; 5 reps x 5 sets; rest 10
A3. Jumping AirSquats x 15 reps; rest 2 min

then
B1. Double Unders 30 reps x 3 sets; rest 20 sec
B2. Ab Mat Sit Ups 15 reps x 3 sets; rest 20 sec

8)

10 sets
Row or AirDyne
30 sec @100%
30 sec Easy(50%)

185 calories on the AirDyne

9)

15 Axel Deadlift 205 pounds
9 HSPU
12 Axel Deadlift 205 pounds
15 HSPU
9 Axel Deadlift 205 pounds
21 HSPU

used a switch grip and probably should have done double overhand….

10)

4 Rounds

3 Hang Squat Cleans
7 Strict T2B
10 Kb Goblet Squats 2 Pood
Run 200m
Rest 1:1

11)

Workout of the Day
Power Snatch
2-2-2-2-2; rest 2 min (135-145lb)

then
5 sets
PP 3 reps; rest 20 sec (185)
Kb Swings Unbroken 12 reps; rest 60 sec (2 pood)

then
Prowler Suicide

12)

Cindy
20 min AMRAP
5 Pull Ups
10 Push Ups
15 Air Squats

10 full rounds. PR.

13)

Stone to Shoulder – Technique

20 Min Amrap

10 Partner Stone to Shoulder-Alternating Partners 145lb stone

50 Feet Bear Crawl….not bear claws which would have tasted much better…..