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25 Mar / 2014

An Acquittal for Saturated Fat

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4931201391_6c72177b4f_zGrowing up I learned that fat was bad. Butter, beef, nuts, avocado – all “fattening” (seriously, we never had guacamole in my house growing up for this very reason). Lean meat lean beef lean lean lean has been drilled into us for the past thirty or so years. Even the American Heart Association – trusted resource for all things heart disease – recommends limiting saturated fat to just 5% of daily intake If you eat a 2,000 calorie diet, that leaves you with about 11 grams or  less than a tablespoon of coconut oil per day. (Although as a side note I somewhat question AHA’s wisdom after learning they endorsed Subway as a healthy meal option. But I digress.) Heck, I even learned it in college, and told I don’t know how many patients while I was working in the hospital to “choose lean meats and avoid foods high in saturated fat”. There has been questioning of this saturated fat-heart disease link recently, with a lot of it coming from the Paleo camp (Robb Wolf, etc).

 

Now, a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has cleared saturated fat of its charges. The review looked at 21 studies of over 347,000 people with follow up anywhere from 5-23 years. The results found no association between saturated fat intake and coronary heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. Basically, there is no evidence to conclude that saturated fat is the devil incarnate.

 

What Does This Mean?

 

My general rule about saturated fat remains unchanged (and is essentially supported) by this study. Don’t be afraid of sat fat – there are a lot of food containing saturated fat that provide nutrients we need. Beef for example, is a good source of iron (which is needed to produce hemoglobin, a part of red cells that shuttles oxygen through the body. Not getting enough iron can result in anemia) and zinc (important for wound healing and immune health). But, most if not all of your saturated fat should still come from healthy, whole food sources – meat, milk, eggs, butter, etc and not from fried/processed foods or high sugar foods (like ice cream). Just as with carbohydrates, it’s not about the nutrient itself, it’s about where it comes from and the quality of that source.

 

The Bottom Line

 

Don’t be afraid of saturated fat. Just get it from the right place.

 

Source - American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Image c/o Chris Lindsay

24 Mar / 2014

Follow Your Passion

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“Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our PASSION here at CrossFit Boston is to change the lives of our members in a holistic way. Its more than just a WOD. Its a lifestyle. Its a way of thinking and approaching each and every decision. Taking what you learn in the one hour you spend in the gym and applying it to the other 23 hours outside of the gym.

We believe the physical enables the mental, which enables the emotional, which ultimately enables the spiritual. I am not referring to religion when I refer to spiritual but more so of how one perceives his/her ability’s when they physically train his/herself to the margins.

Knocking down barriers.

Kicking in doors.

Refusing to settle for mediocrity.

One of us has the opportunity to truly follow HER PASSION. Coach Tina will be moving on at the end of this month to train with kids full time. She has the opportunity of her dreams to work with disenfranchised youths within the City of Boston and cannot say no. 

cfkidsboston

If you have spent any time with Coach Tina, it is obvious how much she enjoys training young adults and children. She is great at it and she will do a knockout job in becoming a catalyst of change in the physical culture of our younger generation.

We wish her nothing but the best! Be sure to give her a hug this week while you are in the gym. She will always be a part of CrossFit Boston and welcome to visit as often as her schedule permits.

tina&NeilJ

21 Mar / 2014

FIRE IT UP FRIDAY! – 3/21/2014

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FIRE IT UP with CUSTOM FIT MEALS!

There is a ton of great things happening right now. Allow me to start with announcing we have partnered up with Custom Fit Meals. Here is their pledge:

CFM prepares and delivers fresh, delicious meals made from only the highest quality ingredients.  We specialize in producing Paleo, Primal and clean meals that fit our Nutritional Philosophy.

We use only USDA-certified All Natural, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats.  Our beef is grass-fed Angus, our poultry is cage-free, our pork is pastured, and our produce is sourced locally and organic as often as possible.  We only partner with ranchers that treat their animals humanely and feed them correctly.

Our unmatched variety of meal selections allows you to personalize your menu to fit your lifestyle.  This gives you the convenience you want, the portion control you need, and the quality of ingredients you deserve – all at an affordable price.

CFM GUARANTEE = Quality, Variety & Service + Prices you can Afford

The relationship between CFB and CFM does require a minimum commitment of 10 members. I have tried a couple of the meals and it was very good. The food had a ton of flavor and the portion was very satisfying. If you are someone that has a very busy schedule or if you find it difficult to make the correct choices, Custom Fit Meals will be perfect for you!

Here is how it works.

CrossFit Games Open 14.4 – The Chipper

Week 4 of the Open is here. The muscle up has finally made it appearance. More appropriately for the majority of CFB members, so has Toe 2 Bars. Dave Castro threw us a curveball with adding the rower to the Open for the very first time in history. I LOVE IT!

As has been the case with every Open workout, pacing will play a critical role. How you feel coming off the rower is going to be more important for those that are still struggling with T2B. Most of you will be able to complete 60 calories within 3 minutes and be ok going into the T2B. Today while warming up be sure to feel the pace of the rower and work on transitioning over to the pull up rig. For the T2B really try to focus on that hollow body position and sub maximal efforts. The more you work towards an effort that results in slipping off the bar, the harder it will be to recover the grip strength.

Moving on to the wall ball, attempt to complete the 40 reps in 1-3 sets. Pacing so you can breathe is critical. Your grip will get a much needed break from the first two movements but your legs are going to be tired. Be sure to be accurate and not miss reps b/c you were too fast and out of control.

Cleans for 30 reps. This is it for the majority of you reading this. Set your back, drive through your heels and try to minimize the rest time between reps. If you still have the energy to perform touch and go reps, you will fare better than if you have to perform a quick rep and drop the bar. The fewer sets the better. To hook grip or not to hook grip? I think this will depend on how efficient you are with the clean. If you are a repeat offender of using your arms, then try to use a hook grip to allow a loose but secure grip. If 135 is not a heavy weight and you can keep a loose grip and not pull with the arms on the clean, then give it a go without the hook grip.

Muscle Ups. If you are lucky enough to get this far and you have the ability to perform muscle ups, be sure to have that kip swing dialed in so the arms have as little action in the movement. Return back to the bottom of the dip and “fall” back into the kip swing to load the hip.

GOOD LUCK!!

Programming

With the exception of Carla B (GO CARLA GO!!) the rest of us understand the CrossFit Games season will end for us with 14.5. Because of this, the programming is going to begin our strength phase of training.

There will be a renewed focus on improving strength across the board for all members while still focusing on skill development in areas still lacking across the gym. There will still be a heavy emphasis on met cons as that is the base of what is CrossFit but you will begin seeing shorter and heavier WODS programmed in addition to the classic style of programming that has been emphasized the last couple of months.

WHAT’S ON TAP

Saturday 3/22

1. Push Press – 7×2
Work up to a heavy set of 2 then back off to 90% of that weight and perform 6 more sets.

2. AMRAP 8
10 OH swings, 32kg/24kg
10 Pull ups
5 Front squat, 185/125

Sunday 3/23

1. Run 1 mile (Test)

rest 10 minutes

2. 3 rounds for time
20 DB Split Cleans, 55/35
15 Knee to elbows
10 HR push ups

Monday 3/24

1. Back Squat – 5×3
work up to a heavy set of three and then back off to 90% of that and perform 4 more sets of 3

2. 21-15-9
Calories on the rower
Power Snatch, 135/95

Tuesday 3/25

1. 400m Medball Run – TEST

2. Hand balancing & Hollow body- spend 10 minutes practicing hand balancing and accumulate 100 Hollow rocks

3. AMRAP 5
10 Burpee Box Jumps, 24″/20″
10 Push Jerks, 155/110

rest 3 minutes

AMRAP 5
10 Power Clean, 155/110
10 CTB Pull ups

Wednesday 3/26

1. Bench Press – work up to a heavy set of 5 (not a max)

2. 5 rounds for time
15 OH squats, 115/75
15 Toe 2 bar

Thursday 3/27

1. Deadlift – 3 x 5 work up to a heavy set of 5. Drop down to 90% of that weight and then perform 3 more sets at that weight.

2. “1/2 Mary” – AMRAP10
5 Handstand push ups
10 Pistols (alternating legs each rep)
15 Pull ups

Neal doing his thing!

Neal doing his thing!

On Tuesday night I had the privilege of watching Neal speak to a group of athletes and coaches at Community Rowing Inc.’s monthly Coaching Colloquium.  The topic was Cross Training and he was on fire.  Seeing the way he gets himself and the whole room fired up about the possibilities of constantly varied, functional movement, performed at high intensity is inspiring.  Every time I see Neal tell his story and share his passion with others it reminds me of why I do what I do.  Who is on your team and who inspires you?

 

Who’s on your team?

 

Every day you go to work there is a team of people you work with.  Every day you go to the gym there is a team of people holding you accountable and pushing you.  Every day you go home there is a team there to support you and love you.  Recognize your team.  Support them by working as hard as you can every single second of the day and you’ll make them better.

RRT13 RoR Team pics

 

Inspire Someone Today!

 

Whether it’s your training partner, friend, family, or complete stranger, find a way to inspire them and fight for their goals.  Help drive their passion and pursuit of a better self.  Show them what you take pride in and how hard you work for what you believe in.  Find a way to motivate them and do what needs to be done.

 

If you’re looking for a chance to have some fun with your fellow class mates, meet some new members, and learn something new – sign up for the Partner Mobility Seminar at CrossFit Boston March 29th!

 

Spring is here, set a new goal, attack it, have some fun.

19 Mar / 2014

ACCURACY

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Accuracy is one of the 10 General Physical Skills in fitness. It is defined as the ability to control a movement in a given direction or at a given intensity. Rowing is a great example of how to practice accuracy and today’s WOD is the perfect time to apply what you learn.

Coach Pat, does an excellent job of working with our members discussing what is going on with the rower. He will instruct you to aim for a target Stroke Per Minute (SPM). He will then instruct the group to decrease the split time on the erg while MAINTAINING the same SPM. Here he is training you on how to become more accurate with the efficiency of each pull on the chain. He is also teaching how to increase your power for each stroke. Increased power means more work can be done in the same or less time, thus you are improving your fitness.

If you still feel lost when there is a rowing WOD programmed, you should set up a private session with Pat so that he can sit down with you and take you through all of the steps. Rowing can be a powerful tool in building up more fitness. You want to be sure that it fits into your wheelhouse.

Here’s a video of the 6am class this morning.

Reebok CrossFit Games Open 14.3

Alright! Many of you have already completed this WOD. Let me start off this tip with the following: UNLESS YOU ARE CLOSE TO QUALIFYING FOR REGIONALS AND YOU ROYALLY MESSED UP THE APPLICATION OF YOUR STRATEGY, DO NOT REPEAT THIS WOD. There is great potential to really injury yourself. The low back is going to be sore and fatigued even if you were able to maintain midline stabilization for every single rep. My glutes and hamstrings are ridiculously on fire today, this is a good thing, but it would mean that they would not be ready to attack this WOD again soon and it would push the stress to the back.

If you have not yet completed the WOD, here are some quick tips:

1. Don’t go out too fast. Find a good rhythm that allows you to go from bar to box and box to bar with no rest. The rest is built in with you loading the plates as the load increases.

2. If you need to drop to fast singles b/c the weight is too heavy to link touch and go reps, then you need to stay right over your bar take one quick breath and get back into position and lift.

3. As you are warming up, determine which provides greater economy: step ups or box jumps. I am a believer that step ups are going to allow a faster/more consistent pace for the LONG TERM of this WOD. There are some exceptions like Dave Young. A 24″ box jump is a large step up for him and he is a good box jumper.

4. BRACE, BRACE, BRACE – If you cannot do this well, your back will not like you for the rest of the weekend.

That’s it! Good luck and push onward!

PROGRAMMING

Saturday 3/15

1. Recovery WOD complete for time
Run 1 mile
5 rounds of:
20 Push ups
20 OH Walking Lunges, 45/25
Run 1 mile

rest 10-20 minutes (mobilize)

2. Back Squat – 6×2 (work up to a challenging 2 and then hold for a total of 6 sets)

Sunday 3/16

1. AMRAP 4
5 STO, 115/75
5 Knee to elbows

8 minutes

AMRAP 4
5 Thruster, 95/65
5 Burpees

rest 8 minutes

AMRAP 4
5 STO, 115/75
5 KTE’s

rest 8 minutes

AMRAP 4
5 Thruster, 95/65
5 Burpees

Monday 3/17 (WEAR GREEN)

TEST Day

1. Max Pull ups
2. Max Push ups
3. 1:00 Sit ups
4. Tabata Squats

Skill: Grease the muscle up groove

Tuesday 3/18

1. Front Squat – 6×2 (work up to a challenging double and complete a total of 6 sets at that weight)

–Dips perform sets of 3-5 reps (AHAP) between each set of front squat

notes:
Be sure to give yourself adequate rest after the dips before your next set of front squat.

Wednesday 3/19

1. Row 500m (max effort)
rest the amount of time it took to complete 500m
2. Row 1000m (max effort)
rest the amount of time it took to complete 1000m
3. Row 1500m (max effort)
rest the amount of time it took to complete 1500m
4. Run 1500m (max effort)

Skill: Grease the muscle up groove

Thursday 3/20

1. EMOM 10 – Snatch 1-2 reps (work up to AHAP)

2. AMRAP 12
5 DB Shoulder Press, 40/20
10 AbMat sit ups
15 Double unders

Hey Mickey!

Welcome to the TEAM Mickey!

Welcome to the TEAM Mickey!

I want to officially welcome longtime member Mickey Grouse to the TEAM! Mickey has been training with us for over 4 years, has competed in some local and regional events, volunteered his talents as a DJ for parties, etc. Now he will be apprenticing to be apart of our Coaching TEAM. 

Mickey is an all around good dude and cares a ton about the CrossFit Boston Community. He received his CrossFit L1 Certificate back in 2011. You will see him primarily shadowing me in both group classes and private sessions. He will soon be leading portions of the class and ultimately entire classes.

Give him a big fist bump and a FIRE IT UP!!

CrossFit Games 14.3

CrossFit Games Open 14.3 (AMRAP – Reps)
8-Minute AMRAP:
10 Deadlifts, 135# / 95#
15 Box Jumps, 24″ / 20″
15 Deadlifts, 185# / 135#
15 Box Jumps, 24″ / 20″
20 Deadlifts, 225# / 155#
15 Box Jumps, 24″ / 20″
25 Deadlifts, 275# / 185#
15 Box Jumps, 24″ / 20″
30 Deadlifts, 315# / 205#
15 Box Jumps, 24″ / 20″
35 Deadlifts, 365# / 225#
15 Box Jumps, 24″ / 20″

Deadlift and box jumps! Alright, we finally have a little weight now in the open. The ascending volume AND weight for the deadlift will make it challenging to maintain midline stabilization and not blow out the low back. Everyone will need to focus on bracing really tight while pushing the ground away through the heels rather than pulling the bar off the floor. Establish a pace that will be just below your threshold and allow you to keep moving steady. This is very similar to the pacing needs of Wednesday’s Row/Thruster WOD.

If 225 is heavy, be prepared to start breaking up into sets of 5 so that you can move faster. Try to avoid singles until you absolutely have to. If you are lucky enough to get into the heavier weights you need to game plan the number of reps/sets for completion. Think similarly to last week’s CTB pull ups, except you will have a much higher muscle economy.

Step ups or box jumps are permitted with the requirement of both feet on the floor at full standing and both feet on the box at full standing. The kicker is the height of the box. For the men, if you are shorter, a 24″ box may be too much to expect a good pace with step ups. Ladies you should be fine with 20″. We have been training the Games Standard for box jumps the last couple of weeks so you should know how to pace this already. 15 reps is manageable, just be sure to breathe and maintain control of your body.

Good Luck to everyone today!

What’s On Tap!

Keep your eyes open for another post today with next week’s programming!

Kevin P. on Wall Balls for FGB!

Kevin P. on Wall Balls for FGB!

I don’t know about you guys, but my shoulders have been feeling it this week after attacking “14.2″.  Congrats to everyone that gave it a go.  I saw many retests and PR’s earlier this week and it was a blast seeing everyone break through their previous scores.  I hope you’ve taken some extra time to smash and mobilize as we get ready for “14.3″.

 

If you’re looking for some extra tips on mobilizing those shoulders consider signing up for our Partner Mobility Seminar on Saturday, March 29th!

 

Sign Up for the Partner Mobility Seminar Here!

 

It will also be a good opportunity to get to know some of our new members.  Here are pictures of a few members that crushed “Fight Gone Bad” and graduated to group classes over the past week.  Give them a shout if you see them in class!

 

Have a great weekend and get after “14.3″!

 

John W. post FGB!

John W. post FGB!

Who are you and what are you about?

 

My name is John Woodson and I am from Lawton, Oklahoma. I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Oklahoma and love my Oklahoma Sooners and OKC Thunder. I am a pretty big sports fan and I grew up playing baseball and basketball. I moved to Boston in 2012 for grad school and have accepted a job up here once I finish up in May.  I have been married to my wife, Whitney, for 3 years this May and we are both super excited to be staying up here in Boston.

 

Why did you join CrossFit Boston?

 

Like I said earlier, I grew up playing team sports and was always used to working out with my team.  But when I went to college and my sports career tapered off, I couldn’t seem to get into a good individual routine.  I would always try to start some new workout regimen, but after 2 weeks would just get bored doing the same things all the time by myself.  I lived in Houston before coming to Boston, and one of my buddies down there started describing crossfit to me and it sounded like just the thing I needed. But I didn’t take any actions about it.  When I moved up to Boston I focused on grad school for a year, but earlier this January looked in the mirror and realized I was about 30 pounds overweight and needed to do something before it got too late. So I called Crossfit Boston and started the 10 session training program.

 

What are you getting out of the Private Training?

 

A ton.  The private training helps on so many levels. After 8 years without consistent exercise, I struggle through a lot of what we do and have to scale several of the exercises.  But having Pat there as my instructor helps me make sure I’m keeping proper form to avoid injury, and he acts as a great coach and motivator. I am able to do more in these sessions than I would have imagined, and I keep improving all the time.

 

Mike H. on SDHP for FGB!

Mike H. on SDHP for FGB!

What are some of your goals for this year?

 

When I started a month ago, I weighed in at 214 pounds and was close to 30% body fat. I now weigh in at 204 and am closer to 26% body fat.  I am hoping to get down below 20% and closer to 15% at least by the end of this year.

 

I used to be able to do 10 pullups no problem back in high school.  I can’t do a single one now.  Eventually, I would like to be able to hit 10 again.

 

Overall I just want to feel better.  My weight and fitness issues have been an emotional as well as physical drain on me.  I want be able to play basketball without needing to take breaks every 5 minutes on the floor. I want to be able to go out and enjoy a nice run in this beautiful city I now call home. Most of all, I want to make habits and build skills that will set me up to stay fit for the rest of my life.

 

What are you looking forward to once you graduate to group classes?

 

Working out with a group again.  Having people there so we can all push and encourage each other and getting to know more people at the gym.

 

Just seeing continued progress on top of the foundation I am building through the private trainings.

12 Mar / 2014

Paleo Pro’s and Cons

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Sorry for the late blog post! I’ve seen lots of new faces in the gym over the past few months, so I am reposting my go-to article on the good and bad aspects of the paleo diet, and some recommendations for using it to improve your diet for anyone who’s heard of the paleo diet during their intro sessions but still wants more information (or for anyone who wants a refresher). Also, I’m a little short on time as I’m in California for work (you feel so sorry for me, right?).

 

The Paleo diet -  also known as the “caveman diet” – is a way of eating inspired by the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors, the men and women who lived 2.5 million years ago, before the agricultural revolution began about 10,000 years ago and provided mankind with a steady supply of grains, corn, dairy, and domestic meat. The theory behind Paleo eating is that our bodies are genetically programmed to eat certain foods, and that many modern health problems like obesity result from the introduction of grains, dairy, and other processed foods, which wreak havoc on our metabolic systems. The diet, and it’s “allowed” and “restricted” foods, are based on anthropological research providing insight into what pre-agricultural humans ate.

 

Foods allowed on a strict Paleolithic diet include lean meats and seafood, eggs, fruits and non-starchy vegetables, nuts (except peanuts), seeds, and plant-based oils such as olive, coconut, avocado, walnut, or grapeseed. Restricted foods include processed meats (like salami), dairy, grains such as rice, pasta, wheat, and corn, starchy vegetables like potatoes, soy products, legumes like beans and peanuts, alcohol, and refined sugar.  Following a Paleo diet does not require minding of portion sizes or food measurement. The recommendation is to eat Paleo approved foods when you are hungry and stop when you are full. The idea is that it’s fairly hard to eat too many calories when they are coming from protein sources and high fiber, filling sides like vegetables, fruits, or healthy fats. The Paleo diet can be followed strictly or modified to meet your individual needs. For instance, some follow an “80/20” rule, eating Paleo about 80% of the time and allowing room for leniency with other foods or cheat days. Others follow a strict Paleo diet but include dairy, butter, or both.

 

 

The Research on the Paleo diet, while promising, is fairly limited. Several small studies have shown a Paleolithic diet may help improve markers of health in both healthy people and those with chronic disease. For example, one study showed that a Paleolithic diet resulted in lower mean glycated hemoglobin (a measure of blood sugar control over time) values, diastolic blood pressure, and waist circumference, and higher HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) when compared to a standard diabetes diet. Among healthy adults, a small metabolically controlled study (meaning what participants ate was strictly controlled) found improvements in blood pressure, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, and cholesterol without weight loss over a 10-day period.

 

In addition, while the evidence for the Paleo diet specifically, especially in athletes, is not prolific, research has shown high-protein, low-carbohydrate type diets to be effective for fat loss in a number of studies. Recently, a study appearing in Nutrition & Metabolismfound that Paleo dieters not only felt more satisfied in terms of appetite, but also had lower levels of circulating leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite, food consumption, and body fat storage.

 

Why Eating Paleo is Awesome…

 

  • It eliminates the crap – eating whole foods and avoiding food products with refined sugars, preservatives, harmful additives, high levels of sodium, and added fats has numerous benefits in terms of weight management, health, and athletic performance.
  • More vitamins and minerals – because you eat more fruits and veggies on a Paleo diet, you are getting much more fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than on a typical Western Diet. Vitamins can help, but 90% of the nutrients in a typical multivitamin tablet are not absorbed but are excreted (meaning you pee them out). Studies have shown that eating more fruits and vegetables reduces cancer risk, but when researchers attempted to isolate and supplement specific vitamins common in produce, the effect wasn’t replicated.
  • Less “bad” fat and more “good” fat – the Paleo diet typically consists of more omega-3 and unsaturated fats via increased intake of foods like almonds, walnuts, and avocados and reduction in saturated fats by eliminating high fat meats and processed foods like chips and desserts. Unsaturated fats may reduce inflammation, which is good for everyone, especially athletes.
  • Health Benefits – although the research is limited, the Paleo diet has been associated with greater weight loss success, greater satiety, and improvements in markers of chronic disease. There are numerous anecdotes of people having found success eating this way.

 

Why it’s not so awesome...

 

  • It takes more planning – it’s easy to get enough carbohydrates and calcium on a standard American diet. It’s also easy to grab lunch at the office if you forgot to pack it. So while it’s possible to meet all your nutritional needs on a Paleo diet while enjoying good food, it requires more planning and, often times, ahead of time meal preparation. If you’re not used to packing your lunch or cooking nearly all of your meals, it will take an adjustment.
  • $$$ – I don’t subscribe to the belief that it is more expensive to eat a healthy diet, but following a strict Paleo diet will up your grocery bill, at least a little bit, due to increased purchasing of meat and vegetables. This increase will be greater if you switch completely to organic and grass-fed products. On the flip side, if you give up junk food and soda and eat out less, this will probably even out.
  • Does it make sense? – Dr. Cordain argues that our bodies are genetically adapted to a Paleo diet, and the influence of grains and processed foods has led to our current health problems. But people started eating bread 10,000 years ago, and the epidemic of obesity and chronic disease is at best a 30 year old problem. So is bread and dairy the devil? Or is an increasingly sedentary lifestyle combined with more people eating out more often and ever growing portion sizes the real culprit?
  • Carbohydrates – for most people the moderate carbohydrate levels in a Paleo diet are enough to support normal functioning and maintain glucose and glycogen stores. However, people with higher carbohydrate needs, like endurance athletes, or rowers doing multiple workouts per day, may have a hard time meeting them on a Paleo diet.The Paleo Diet for Athletes, written by Dr. Cordain and endurance coach Joe Friel, actually recommends following a Paleo diet for most of the time while supplementing other foods, such as sports drinks, around workouts to get adequate carbohydrates.
  • Difficulty – A US News Report rated the Paleo diet one of the worst diets for 2011 and difficulty was a factor. For some people, eliminating 3 major food categories (grains, dairy, legumes) may just be too much to stick with over an extended period. Going on a drastic diet that you won’t be able to maintain could result in frustration, stress, and ultimately giving up and just “eating whatever” for a while, which will be a weight loss and/or goal setback and just leads to more stress.

 

So what should you do?

 

As far as I’m concerned, there is no “perfect diet” for all people. That being said, I think there is merit to the principles behind the Paleo diet and at the very least I would consider it a good framework for building a healthy, maintainable diet. Ideally, you do want to eliminate processed foods (like Spam, Cheetos, fast food, etc) and focus on more “Paleo foods” like meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and oils. However having the occasional whole grain (that’s wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal etc), dairy product, or legume isn’t going to kill you (unless you have a food allergy).

 

Here are some good guidelines to follow:

  • Load up on lean meats, veggies, and fruits first. They contain those essential nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Eat a healthy diet that works for you and doesn’t drive you nuts. You want to follow a healthful nutrition plan, but you don’t want to set yourself up for failure either.
  • Avoid processed crap. It’s that simple. If the ingredients list is longer than your entire grocery list and you find yourself trying to decide if it’s healthy, just put it back on the shelf. It’s probably not that great for you.
  • Avoid added sugars and sodium. That includes canned stuff, “pre-made” meals, sugary beverages, junk snacks, and many breakfast cereals.
  • Limit the booze. It’s empty calories and makes you feel not awesome the next day, which can increase cravings for less healthy foods and limit your desire and/or ability to work out.
  • Disregard all of the above and have a cheat day every now and then. It can be good for you. Check out why here.
11 Mar / 2014

Tuesday Tips

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To go as Rx or not to go Rx? That is the question. Almost daily we as coaches receive this question from members at least 10 times when we bring the class in front of the whiteboard. Here is a quick and dirty guide when it comes to the Workout of the Day (WOD).

1. Fast Is Better
Metabolic conditioning is meant to be fast. (Once proper mechanics have been learned of course!) Speed is one of the 10 General Physical Skills outlined in CrossFit’s definition of fitness. CrossFit works so well because we train at HIGH INTENSITY. INTENSITY = POWER. Power is also one of the 10 general physical skills necessary in a well rounded fitness program. We can measure POWER as work (force x distance)/time.  The faster a WOD is completed the greater the POWER and therefore the greater INTENSITY. 

Greg Everett even has a webpage that allows you to compute your POWER output for some of the movements in CrossFit. You can check it out here. One Friday evening, the attendees and I played with this calculator. We inputted different weights, times, etc for the same individual to calculate the POWER output of the WOD “FRAN”. It was quite revealing to learn that performing FRAN with 65# and finishing 30-60 seconds faster than performing it as Rx and grinding through it created a much higher POWER output.

2. Strength During Strength WOD’s
We program strength separately than the WOD because it needs to be trained as such. Yes, CrossFit does improve your strength within the WOD. But it does so primarily through repetitions and increased movement efficiency. The more efficient you are at moving the greater loads you will be able to handle. I am not saying this is exclusive, I am saying that it is primarily what is occurring. 

The days strength is programmed in the gym or if you are on an additional strength cycle outside of class time, that is when you should be loading the heavy weights. Our current programming has less strength programmed due to the Open season. That begin said, you should be on a supplemental strength cycle outside of class if strength is one of YOUR main issues in being able to perform better.

Back to the main point of this tip, adding too much weight in the WOD is going to slow you down considerably. Thus, decreasing your POWER, AND increase your potential of injury. Add weight to the WOD very slowly as your fitness and strength improves.

3. Volume
The WOD written on the board is programmed for the most advanced athletes in the gym, think Carla B and Dave Y. They have a ton of training time and ridiculously huge base of fitness. The majority of our members are not at this level. They are working to get there. So, it is important to look at the volume of training each and every day.

I will use yesterdays WOD, 21-15-9 Pull-ups and deadlifts, as the example. Lets assume I just got my pull-ups and can now perform between 2-4 pull-ups unbroken regularly. 45 pull-ups would be a disaster for my training if I attempted to complete the volume as Rx. What would be more appropriate is for me to scale the WOD down to 10-6-4. This would provide an appropriate dosage so that I could improve my pull-ups without risk of causing damage or injury. 

Over time while practicing my pull-ups outside of class time, I would increase the amount of pull-ups that I would perform in a WOD inching closer to Carla and Dave all while drastically improving my fitness.

I hope this guide helps. It is by no means exhaustive and it is not meant to be taken as law. There are many exceptions to the rule. We all are each individuals and respond to training much differently. That is what makes our job as Coaches both exciting and challenging. If you have any questions on this topic any of our staff can help you. Just come up and ask!

Sunday's class took advantage of the warmer weather.

Sunday’s class took advantage of the warmer weather.


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Athlete of the Month

  • David Kemp

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    Let’s start with a regret. I wish I had gotten off my ass and joined CrossFit Boston a year ago. Fitness-wise, it had been a rough year since I got out of the Marines and started at HBS (Harvard Business School). Not that I wasn’t working out at all, but what I was doing wasn’t […]

Kid Athlete of the Month

  • ASHLEY SCAFETTA

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    CrossFit is a sport I believe everyone can participate in. I especially see this in the kid athletes of CrossFit Boston. Every new kid I have the opportunity to coach brings to our community a new perspective. Ashley is a young lady who at 10 years old is already competing in triathlons and is a […]

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