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21 Jan 2015

Are You Bonking During Workouts?

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I know a bunch of people in the gym are either doing the Whole Life Challenge or a variation of cleaner eating to kick off the new year. While this is all good news, it can also lead to some pitfalls. One of these, as I’ve mentioned in Paleo posts before, is carb intake and bonking. What is bonking? It’s basically hitting the wall in a workout. It’s not fun.

Why Do We Bonk?

Bonking generally results from not having enough energy to finish your workout (or feeling that way). When you are eating your “standard” non-challenge diet, you’re likely eating some grains, potatoes, etc. Your carb intake is definitely higher than it is when you’re in challenge mode unless you eat a lot of bananas and sweet potatoes. Your body is used to working out at that higher carb intake, and can take a while to adjust. And when you start a paleo or clean eating challenge, your diet usually ends up being low carb (at least at first) even if you don’t mean it to be. The change can be especially drastic coming off of holiday food and cookies. Your body will adapt to the lower carb intake over the next few weeks as the sugar withdrawals subside and blood sugar levels normalize. But still, keeping up a consistent carbohydrate intake is important if you want to get the most out of your workouts. I’m not saying you need to eat 60% of your calories in carbs, I”m just saying you need to get enough for YOU to feel good during workouts and have energy throughout the day. 

Tips To Avoid It

  • Make sure you’re getting enough carbohydrates throughout the day. Unless you’re into doing ketosis, you need roughly 130-150 grams of carbohydrates a day for basic brain function. Obviously you need more than that if you’re coming into the gym regularly. 
  • Time carbs to the workouts, and bring backup. While your body adapts, it helps to consume more carbohydrates around your workouts. If say, you have a banana for breakfast and still feel like you hit the wall, bring some juice (I would imagine 100% juice with no sugar added in very small amounts is OK, but I have not double checked the rules), coconut water, or dried fruit to nibble on between the strength and WOD part of the workout. You could also eat a Fuel For Fire (again, if compliant). A little bit of glucose here will go a long way. 
  • Get a good night’s sleep. I’ve already said a lot about sleep during the last challenge so I won’t bore you further.

How’s The Whole Life Coming?

Sometimes eating clean with no cheats for a long period can get rough. Here are a few recipes I like, as well as where to get a good lunch in downtown Boston.

Paleo Lunches in Boston

Pulled Pork, Sweet Potato, and Pear Stew. A friend made this but added cumin, which sounds awesome.

Fig and Apple Butter. Modified from Pale-OMG (I used no sugar in mine). Great for a pre/mid workout boost.

Grain Free Spaghetti With Bison Meat Sauce . Adapted from my granddad’s meat sauce. 

Any favorite recipes to share? 

Image c/o Louish Pixel

You can still volunteer to help set up, judge, and clean up, though! Do so HERE. Thanks!

Peace and bacon grease,
Mickey

19 Jan 2015

Focus and Throwdown WODs

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One of our members, Ollie C. (aka Pencilneck Jr.) was recently featured in the Globe! Read the article about how he approaches diving and then watch his focus as he prepares for and executes a beautiful dive.

IMG_4613

Next, watch this 14-minute video on why it exercise may be harder for some than for others:

https://www.ted.com/talks/emily_balcetis_why_some_people_find_exercise_harder_than_others#t-503722

If you skipped ahead without watching the video, one of the speaker’s central points is that focusing on the exercise at hand makes it easier to accomplish more in less time. On the days that your mind is wandering at the gym, doesn’t it always feel as though the weights are heavier and it’s harder to maintain proper form? On the days that you’re dialed in, doesn’t it always feel as though the weights are a little lighter and it’s easier to keep the midline tight? For the rest of the month, I’d like everyone to focus on the work at hand for the hour that you are in the gym. Let’s see if Dr. Balcetis is right or wrong!

Peace and bacon grease,

Mickey

P.S. Afternoon Tea will be next held on Sunday, February 1st at 3 PM. This earlier time is sponsored by SuperBowl XLIX.

P.P.S. Here are the two of the WODs that we will be doing at the throwdown on January 31st from 10AM-1PM:

 
WOD #1: But I Haven’t Been Practicing My Double-Unders!

AMRAP 5

Buy-In: Unbroken double-unders each partner 30 Rx/5 scaled

THEN

AMRAP

Burpee-box jumps 20″ Rx/step-ups permitted scaled

 

1. Athletes may work at the same time on the double-unders but may not progress on to the burpee-box jumps until both partners have completed their double-unders

2. Double-unders nested within single-unders ARE permitted

3. Both athletes must complete their double-unders UNBROKEN (for scaled, if rope stops, rep is broken) before moving on to burpee-box-jumps

4. One athlete works at a time

5. Score will be number of burpee-box jumps performed

 

11.5

AMRAP 20

Partition reps as desired, one partner works at a time.

5 Power cleans (145lbs / 100lbs) (89 lbs / 55 lbs)
10 Toes to bar
15 Wall balls (20lbs to 10’ target / 15 lbs to a 9’ target) 

It will be $20 and you will be splitting a four-person platter from Soul Fire. If you would like in, please bring $20 cash and email me at mickeyg [at] crossfitboston [dot] com. Thanks!

12 Jan 2015

Whole Life Challenge Potluck

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Just a quick hit for tonight to share Tuesday’s WOD and a note from member, Natalie K., who has a great idea to help support our Whole Life Challenge efforts. Also, be sure to attend the WLC kickoff this Saturday at 8 AM! From what I understand, there WILL BE regularly scheduled classes with the WLC prelim WODs starting at 8 AM, with heats of 12 athletes performing every 15 minutes. Speaking of food, there has been a request to have Soul Fire delivered to the gym this Friday for the townhall meeting. We will be getting the “Serves 4 Souls” combos and it will cost $20 per person, tax and tip included. Please comment below if you want in on this action and please bring cash!

WOD for Tuesday, January 11th 2015

1. DU’s – 5 min

2. Back Squat 3RM

3a. Back Squat 3×3 @ 90%

3b. Glute Ham Raises 3×8-10

4. 6 Rounds for time

1 min ME WB’s (20/14#)

Rest 90s.

 

Peace and bacon grease,
Mickey

 

From Natalie K.:

 

Hi guys!

 
If you will be participating in the whole life challenge and are interested in a weekly potluck get-together to share food, recipes and be social without going out to a restaurant, let me know.  We are thinking that 3 or 4 people could volunteer each week to cook dinner and share with the rest of us.  That way we rotate cooking responsibilities and get to try some new dishes.  Depending on how many people are interested, we could take turns hosting or do it in the lounge room at CFB.  So far, people have shown interest in Sunday night dinners.  
 
If this is something you want to do, please email me (Natalie) at nkallwass [at] gmail [dot] com and let me know what day(s) work for you.
 
Looking forward to dining with you!
 
Nat

I feel like every summer I write the obligatory “it’s so hot out, drink more water to replace lost sweat” blog post. But that post is just as relevant this time of year too, if not more so. We all know dehydration in the summer comes primarily from sweat loss, but in the winter a few things can cause it:

  • Sitting in heated rooms can cause water to evaporate from the skin (and most of us probably spend a good deal of time around heaters)
  • The body uses more water to regulate body temperature in colder climates
  • More water is lost when breathing in dry, cold air (normally the average person loses about 500 ml, or 2 cups, of water per day simply breathing. And according to one study, you can lose 42% more water, or almost a cup, when you breathe through your mouth instead of your nose)

Hydration is good for your entire body, facilitating organ function and digestion, promoting heart health, maintaining skin health, promoting immune system function, regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, and controlling blood pressure. Dehydration – the loss of 1-2% of your bodes’ water, can be dangerous. To learn more about dehydration and find out how much water you should drink, see a previous post on hydration.

Of course, it can be hard to convince yourself to drink water when it’s -2 degrees outside and your heaters don’t work all that well. Below are a few tips for staying hydrated during the cold winter months.

  •  Drink hot water with lemon – I know it can make you feel 90 years old, but it’s actually pretty delicious.
  • Keep enjoying your tea and coffee – while coffee often gets a bad rap for “dehydrating” you, it actually doesn’t impact hydration when consumed in moderate amounts (300-400 mg of caffeine or 2-3 cups of coffee).
  • Find a container that works for you – sometimes how much you drink is related to what you’re drinking from. I rarely ever drink enough out big nalgene bottles, but will pound water out of a pint glass like nobody’s business. Find something that works for you and drink out of it.
  • Set reminders or find an app that works. There are several free ones in the app store that help you track your fluid intake and remind you to drink. 

 

06 Jan 2015

Pre-Warmup Warmups?

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Hey Guys! Welcome to January, aka, Mike Gillette’s HOUSE OF PAIN! I kid, but as you may have noticed over the last few days, there is A LOT to cover in each of Coach Mike’s programmed classes. One thing we discussed was asking members to hop on a bike or a rower for four minutes as a pre-warmup warmup, which would allow us a little more time to cover the intended programming. What do we think about this? Let’s discuss!

Also. Sign up for the throwdown or I will maul you in mid-air like this lioness hunting an antelope:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcEFTGb_ZR0

Peace and bacon grease,

Mickey

FYI: While our address is technically 100 Holton Street, our doors are actually located on a side street that is accessible from Everett Street. Check out the above picture for details!

I don’t know when the tradition started, but every year around this time everyone is either sharing their resolutions or asking yours for the new year. Resolutions tend to be big, sweeping statements like “I’m going to go to the gym” or “I’m going to eat better” or “I’m going to get better at saving money”. Now, I know we have a lot of smart people in this gym who will immediately predict where I’m going with this whole “resolution” thing. If you’re one of those people, feel free to skip to the end to share your New Year’s Goals!

For those of you who didn’t predict my post, or wanted to read my wisdom anyway, here is the problem: big sweeping statements often never get accomplished. They’re a good generalization, but you need to have a plan. HOW are you going to save more money? What outcome do you want from going to the gym more, and how are you actually going to do it? What does “eating better” mean? So, instead of setting a New Year’s Resolution, I challenge you to set a New Year’s SMART Goal. For a review, SMART goals are:

Specific – clearly define what you want to do

Measurable – how else will you know if you’re succeeding?

Attainable – something you can reasonably accomplish in the given time

Results Focused – measure outcomes, not activities (so just “going to the gym” doesn’t count!)

Timely – give yourself a target date 

It’s also important as you form these goals to think about what challenges you might face, and how you’d overcome them. Planning is key, or you’ll just end up failing come February or March. 

I’ll give an example using my own New Year’s Resolution SMART Goal:

Resolution: to get better at mobility and improve core strength 

SMART goal 1: To improve my hamstring mobility as evidenced by…. (still looking for an outcome measure and open to suggestions)

SMART goal 2: To be able to hold a plank for 3 minutes by September 

Plan: Attend Jen’s mobility class or drop into a yoga studio for class 3-4 times per month, and add plank holds to my workout once a week.

Challenges: Making the time to attend yoga or mobility, getting my butt out of bed on a Saturday morning in the winter, motivating myself to do plank work after I’m tired from the WOD. 

Plan to overcome those challenges: Go to bed early on Friday night and make plans with someone else going to mobility so they’ll hold me accountable, find a yoga studio I like and find a friend to go with me (anyone? Bueller?), add plank work to workouts where I’m not rushed – i.e. not the 7 am when I have to be at work by 9.

Alright CFB, what are your New Year’s SMART Goals? 

Photo c/o Adriana 

I get it. You have friends at the gym and you want to throw down with them against other teams, who are also probably friends. The last throwdown was a stunning success, matched only by the successes of those who have participated in Coach Mike’s strength program. We’re having our next throwdown on Saturday, January 31st from 10-1. We will have two-person male-female teams and will have both scaled and Rx divisions. We may have prizes, we may not, but THERE WILL BE BRAGGING RIGHTS! Last time, I did my best to break up marriages and have people partner with some new faces. There was much belly-aching and crying and in the end, Carolyn B. ended up winning all the marbles because she was flexible enough to take on the various randos who ended up being her partner for any given WOD. But yes, this time around you get to choose your own damned partner. Make it so and SIGN UP HERE. The goal is to get twenty teams this time around, so get cracking!

 

Peace and bacon grease,

Mickey


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