31 Jul 2014
Hey, this is the beginning of the final month for the summer. Crazy as that sounds it’s true. As a parent all I can think about is that school is starting again soon and normalcy shall return to the land. Sounds a bit dramatic doesn’t it?
The strength challenge is wrapping up this weekend with the CrossFit Total and Hydrostatic Weighing operated by Keith of MetroWave Fitness. The Saturday classes will be conducting the CFT as well. If you did the test back in May but didn’t participate in the challenge, come in and retest so that we can compare.
There is a code from CrossFit that was hammered in me when I first started training in its methodologies. It is “MCI” or “Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity”. This is important, you see. Training at high intensities with large volume and high skilled movements, that you see in a program such as CrossFit, can be dangerous and cause injury if you are not intelligent about how you go about things.
Mechanics – First learn the movements correctly. Seek a higher understanding as to why we perform the movements we do and how they benefit you outside of the gym. Practice proper progressions before jumping ahead to more advanced movements. Though you may have the ability to do some of these movements you may not have necessarily laid the foundation to handle the physical stress they bring about.
Meet regularly with your Coach to review mechanics and seek performance improvements. Develop together a plan to attack weaknesses and turn them into strengths. This is a lifelong pursuit of a higher level of fitness so enjoy the ride!
Consistency – Consistently train, week in/week out. If you are training 3-4 times per week you will establish a great level of fitness that will allow you function in almost all activities you wish to. Be consistent in your recovery; be it mobility work, yoga, meditation (very under appreciated by the way), or just taking more naps. Eat quality food and eat consistently enough to support your training. Avoid excess and don’t be a fool and under eat. You are really only hurting yourself and you will miss your goals.
If you are traveling that doesn’t mean your fitness needs to end. Email your Coach and ask him or her to put together a plan for you while you are away. If you are planning to visit a CF Affiliate, contact them ahead of time to make sure that they permit drop ins.
Intensity – Ah, the mecca of fitness! It is not a secret that being able to train with intensity is where the magic is attaining the results for which we are seeking. Intensity = Power = work/time = (force x distance)/time. Lift more and do it faster, longer, and further. Why? Because it creates a hormonal response releasing testosterone and growth hormone into the body. EVERYONE including the ladies wants this as it increases your energy levels, slows the aging process, improves vitality, and improves libido! Yes, you read that last part correctly.
Intensity is what many newcomers try to put first. This is a great error. You must set the foundation or you risk plateaus or worse injuries and burnout. Keep it in check and commit to a lifetime of PR’s and great health!
FIRE IT UP!
WHAT’S ON TAP – PROGRAMMING
1RM Back Squat
3 attempts at each lift
1a. Back Rack forward lunges @ 20×2, 10 x 3 sets (10 each leg), super strict, rest 1:00
1b. Ring Dips – 8-12 reps x 3 sets, rest 1:00 (if you cannot perform 8 unbroken reps then perform clusters of 220.127.116.11 x 3)
2. 3 rounds for time
15 BB Thrusters, 95/65
1. Squat Snatch @ 78%, 1.1.1 x 3 sets, rest 3 minutes between sets
2. AMRAP 15
10 Power Snatch, 75/55
15 Toe 2 Bar
10 Box Jumps, 24/20 (step down only)
1. 200m repeats x 7, rest 1:30 between efforts
2a. Strict HSPU cluster, 3.3.3. x 3 sets, rest 1:00 between
2b. GHD Back Extensions, 10-15 reps x 3 sets, rest 1:00 between
3. Complete for time
100 double unders
50 wall ball shots
1. AMRAP 8
10 Pistols (5 each leg)
40 AbMat Sit ups
rest 5 minutes
2. AMRAP 12
25 Push ups (chest to deck)
12 Power Clean, 135/95
1. Deadlift – 4, 4, 2, 2, rest 1:00 between sets, heavier than 7/24
2. Row 10 minutes at Zone 1 (nice and light)
Row 10 minutes at Zone 1 (nice and light)
7 HPC 95/65
rest 5 minutes
5 Deadlift, 135/95
rest 5 minutes
15 Wall ball shots, 20/14
10 Box Jumps
15 Row Calories
31 Jul 2014
1. Shoulder Press – 2RM
2. EMOM 15
5 Over the bar burpees
1 Snatch, 185/125
30 Jul 2014
Row 5 min for max calories
rest 4 minutes
Run 5 min for max distance (500m loops)
rest 5 minutes
Row 5 min for max calories
30 Jul 2014
The video above is from a leader in backs and biomechanics, Dr. Stuart M. McGill. I first read about Dr. McGill’s work a few years ago and was awakened to it again last month at a movement seminar called The Movement Fix. Are sit-ups or any movement that put’s your lower back through repeated repetitions of extension and flexion really necessary?
Are Sit Ups Bad For Your Back?
Yes, Sit Ups are bad for your back. What? Yes, think of your back, especially your lumbar spine (low back), as a credit card. You can only bend that credit card forward and backward so many times before eventually it snaps. Sit Ups put excessive compressive loading on your spinal discs and can easily lead to disc bulge and disc herniation.
Rowers with no posture or core support end up bending from their lower back rather than pivoting from the hips, which leads to all the horror stories of slipped discs in rowing. This also shows up during any movement that involves a deadlift when athletes aren’t focused on maintaining good posture. In rowing, different coaches may or may not have you reach from the thoracic spine, but a common theme that any coach will agree with is keeping the lumbar region stiff, supported, and protected. The muscles that surround and support the spine are made to brace and resist motion, not create it.
Without core stability it is impossible to transfer the force from your legs to the oar/barbell and move the boat/load at any type of speed. This idea of core stability and the ability to connect your feet to your hands through the core is a skill needed in life and fitness as well. There is no way to do an Olympic Lift like the Clean without having a solid core to work from.
After reflecting on this topic for a couple of years, I’ve decided to eliminate sit ups and other similar movements from my training. Sure I will compete and perform sit ups, but I don’t need them to train day in and day out. I like my back to much. Instead I’ve been playing around with paleo crawls, planks, bird dogs, and curl ups on a regular basis.
If you’d like to chat about this topic or would like to know what I’ve been doing for core stability let me know. I hope this sparks some thought and further questions. Have an awesome end of the week CFB
30 Jul 2014
Usually when I’m talking about protein foods, I mean foods like chicken, beef, eggs, and other foods whose primary macronutrient is protein. But this time, I’m talking about the other “protein” foods. The Cheerios Protein and high protein bread. This trend of adding protein to all sorts of food should be great news, right? I mean, protein is so good for so many reasons – helps build muscles, keeps you satisfied, important part of DNA, aids recovery for athletes… the list goes on. Unfortunately, throwing protein powder into every possible consumable is not the answer, and here’s why.
1. More processing – if you thought cereal and bread weren’t processed before, they sure are now. The best breads involve grinding down wheat and other grains, packaging them up to send to a baker, the baker mixing them with water, yeast, and whatever other ingredients, baking, and packaging. Now you are adding to that process isolating and dehydrating cow’s milk protein (99.9 times out of 100 NOT a grass-fed, humanely raised cow either) or dehulling and defatting soybean meal to create soy protein isolate, and packaging that up too. The macronutrient label may now reflect a more balanced food item, but the ingredients list will tell a different story.
2. What kind of protein is that again? Let me just say that I have minimal faith in the food industry to use quality ingredients. Even the brands that claim to (looking at you, Naked Juice) are owned by brands (like Pepsi) who only give a crap about profit. Even I don’t know where most of the protein powder on the shelf at GNC comes from.
3. $$$$$$$ – Adding a trendy component to your product = increased price. To be fair, I have not had time to check a supermarket, so I will stand corrected if someone tells me protein cheerios and protein bread aren’t more expensive than the regular variety.
4. Raw protein powder tastes like crap – which means to make it palatable, the protein variety requires a whole bunch more sugar. This is also why there is always some small amount of artificial sweetener in your Progenex. The good thing about artificial sweetener is that because it’s so much sweeter than regular sugar, you only need a small amount of it. Either way, just compare the nutrition label for Cheerios and Cheerio Protein Honey Oat. The regular Cheerios have 1 gram of sugar per cup, while the Protein version has 14 grams per cup and twice the total carbohydrate (42 grams compared to 20 grams). And while we’re being honest, who eats only the serving size? To get 7 grams of protein, you are adding 13 grams of extra sugar. Honestly, I’d rather see you drink a glass of milk, make an egg, or even eat 2 TB of peanut butter. Both of those will provide more actual nutrition (I’m talking the vitamins and minerals here) than processed cereal with protein powder in it.
Now, this isn’t a knock on protein powder. That has a couple of specific, evidence based uses for some people (you can learn more about that in another blog post). What I’m knocking is taking a food that is OK but not great for you (Cheerios, whole grain bread, etc) and trying to dress it up as the newest health food while actually making it kind of worse. Going back to the Cheerios example, both Banana Nut and Chocolate Cheerios would be a better option than the Cheerios Protein Oats and Honey (fewer ingredients, fewer types of sugar, half the total carbs, a little less sugar), despite the fact that they sound like desserts.
The bottom line is your protein should come from natural sources like eggs, grass-fed/pasture raised meat and dairy, and nuts and seeds. If you’re a vegetarian, even Tofu and some protein supplements are leaps and bounds better than adding protein powder to cereal and other grains. And if you’re looking to add convenient sources of protein to your diet, options include jerky, hard boiled eggs, nuts, deli slices, etc.
Have you tried protein enhanced foods? What did you think of them?
29 Jul 2014
1. High Bar Back Squat @ 20×1, 7-9 reps women/73% x 3 reps for men x 5
sets, rest 2:00 between sets
Complete 5 rounds for time
15 Overhead Squats, 95/65
29 Jul 2014
Welcome to my inaugural blog post! Every Tuesday, I’ll be providing updates on what’s happening post-WOD in the gym and today I’ve got two great save-the-dates to share. First, though, did you know that in 2014, Buffalo Wings will turn 50? According to this entry in Mental Floss, they were invented in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, when the restaurant was faced with an over-supply of chicken wings. Why are we talking about Buffalo Wings? Because like Buffalo Wings, two of our members will also turn fifty this year!
On Sunday, September 7th, we will celebrate the birthdays of members Nigel Costolloe and Dave Lapidus with the Filthy Fifty and there are sure to be some surprises along the way. Come for the great workout, stay for the beers, grub, and good-humored ribbing of the birthday couple about their advanced years.
29 Jul 2014
You still have a few days to sign up for a 15 minute spot to have your body composition tested. Keith will be here on Friday evening and Saturday morning. The list is already getting full but he is willing to stay longer if there is a demand.
Click here to see what times are available.
As a reminder, the fee is $75 for the single dunk and we can conveniently charge your credit card on file.
27 Jul 2014
1. Power Clean – 18.104.22.168 x 3 sets @ 73%, rest 3 min between sets
2a. Ring Dips 8-12 reps x 3 sets, rest 1:00 between sets
2b. Glute Ham Raises (only to parallel) 8-15 reps x 3 sets, rest 1:00
3. AMRAP 6
15 Russian Swings, 32kg/24kg
10 Toe 2 Bar