Archive for October, 2010

Eating Clean while on the Road

Posted: October 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

I am currently at a professional conference out-of-town and don’t want to break my eating and workout habits. If you attend things of this sort yourself then you know how hard it can be since they provide the food and it is not made to order. Also the days tend to be very long, so when do you squeeze in your workout? With the food you just have to evaluate what is provided and see how you can adapt it to fit your Paleo diet. This morning when I went down for breakfast I had no worries because if there is one thing you can usually count on, it is that there are eggs, bacon, sausage, and fruit. Well, no such luck today. There was nothing but big plates of pastry and breakfast burritos and that was it. It threw me off at first because I already had a picture in my head of what I was going to eat, but I grabbed 4 breakfast burritos and proceeded to dump all of the contents out on my plate so I could discard the flour tortillas. People looked at me weird, but hey I need to eat Paleo and they gave me no choice. Then for lunch we started with a salad and only one kind of dressing was provided and it was some super cream garlic pesto dressing and there were no options, so I went dry. Next the entre came and it was a sun-dried tomato and artichoke heart stuff chicken breast on couscous, so I just ate the chicken breast. Then I grabbed some cashews and almonds that I had in my room because I was still hungry. Next we had an afternoon break and guess what food was available? Cupcakes, yep just cupcakes. I was thinking these guys are really make me work for it. I won’t go on anymore about my choices for the day, but my point is that it can be hard to eat clean when traveling. You really just need to examine what is there and you can usually stick to paleo and if you absolutely can’t, then have snacks that you can eat. Going along with the them of the week, you have to plan stuff out and be ready because if you aren’t you will end up breaking your diet just because you are absolutely starving.

Next came sticking to my workout. So I found my hotel on Bing maps and then did a search nearby for CrossFit boxes. I did a post a little ways back about how I choose where to go, so if you are interested just click a little further back on the blog. For this trip I chose United Barbell. It was within walking distance of my hotel and seemed like a cool joint. I sent an e-mail before I went and Jenny was very prompt in responding and was also the trainer for the class I showed up for. It was a great box, Jenny was very welcoming and they run a tight ship there. We did a max deadlift with a metcon check out and I was spent. Oh and I love the fact that after the WOD was over Jenny had us all get back together and run through a series of stretches. One of which I had never done before that I thought was great. Also while I was doing it, it was quite right so she came over and put pressure on the right places and it was like going into the Pain Cave as Kelly Starrett says. It hurt so good. I grabbed a couple of t-shirts on the way out and was back at the hotel for a shower in no time. As my wife was saying before I left for my trip, it is really nice to go to a CrossFit box while traveling because it is like a little piece of home and just feels familiar and comfortable. I couldn’t agree more. Well, it is getting a little late and I have an early and long day tomorrow, hopefully they don’t make me work so hard to stay Paleo and we will see which box I make it to.


Getting Ready for Sectionals

Posted: October 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

Well folks, this is my first in-flight blog post. Having WiFi while at 36,000 ft is pretty darn cool. Now to the topic of Sectionals, they are coming up faster than you think. Most Sectionals are taking place in February and that is only about 3 months away. I think it is time to set up your training plan to allow yourself enough time to make some significant improvements. Step one will be to take a look at what your weaknesses are, sometimes a good way to do that is think about what things go up on the whiteboard that you hate to do. We usually don’t like things that we are not good at or that we feel are very hard. After you have your list you need to do a little work to figure out where you are at with those movements, can you no do them at all, are you not lifting as much weight as you would like, can you not do as many in a row as you would like, etc…. Once you know your current max you can start setting some improvement goals. Remember, there is about 3 months left so be realistic, but not too conservative. Now that you have your new targets you need to create a plan on how to get there. For example, if you aren’t good at double unders then you can build 15 minutes of double under practice every day. That one is easy because you can even do those at home. But if you have a goal of being able to raise your deadlift max by 30lbs then that is probably something you will have to do at the box. Since you will have to do it at the box you will need to figure out if you are going to come in early, stay late, what days, and home many days a week you are going to do it. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but to make big improvements you need to make big plans. I would suggest to make a whole schedule and print it out and stick it somewhere you will see if everyday. If you really want to be better than you were last year or kick some butt in your first year, then put your best foot forward and Do Work. The next part of the preparation is at least as if not considerably more important, your diet. If you aren’t eating clean already, now is the time to switch. If you are eating clean, then how clean is clean, make a food journal and have your trainer review it to see if any improvements can be made. Get out there and read about the Paleo Diet, get a book, search the net, talk to your trainer, do it all. We only workout for about 1 hour a day, so that leaves 23 other hours of the day to make poor eating choices. We should put at least as much energy in time into an eating plan as we should our workout plan, taking that into consideration.

Now since I have talked a bunch about eating clean and staying on track with our workouts, I will post tomorrow on trying to eat clean while traveling and give a review of the Box I will be working out at this evening. I always get that butterflies in my stomach feeling before a WOD, but I really get it before doing one at a new box. But just like anything else that is on your mind, once you are in that WOD you certainly don’t have time to like about anything else 🙂


PR by Positive Thinking

Posted: October 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

A few weeks ago I attended a great seminar at CrossFit Advantage with speaker Greg Amundson. The name of the seminar is Goal Setting and Positive Self-Talk. If you have the chance to host or go to one I highly recommend it. He talks a lot about the way we talk to ourselves and how it makes a big impact on the way we act. For example if you go into the box and tell everyone that you feel like crap today and won’t be able to PR your deadlift, you won’t. He also talks about the power of saying things out loud. Like going into the box and telling everyone you are going to PR your deadlift today. It is just getting your mind in the right place to succeed. By just saying positive things it really changes the way you actually feel about things. Since Greg is one of the original Firebreathers of CrossFit, I told myself I will definitly give this a shot. I have been working hard to think and say things in a more positive nature and you know what, I think it is really working for me. I have gotten several PR’s in the last couple of weeks and one in particular was on a day that I had horrible sleep the night before because of a sick kiddo keeping me up. The other part of the seminar is about setting goals and sharing those goals with others. When you set specific goals and share them someone else, it makes them more real and holds you more accountable. But you have to make sure the goals are specific and measurable. For example don’t just have a goal of being better at double unders or being able to do 100 double unders. Have a specific goal like, I will do 100 double unders in a row in a fluid motion. If you have a goals board or sheet in your box I would suggest you use it. You can also send me your goals and I will start collecting goals from everyone that sends them in and post them all up. I will keep them all in one post and people can view other people’s goals and report back when they have met them. So, send me your goals and make sure they are specific and measurable.

Going back to the positive self-talk, I am also starting to use this with my kids. My daughter is not really a morning person, so I am doing my best to get her head in the right place before she goes to school. It seems like if she is not feeling it by the time I drop her off, then she does not have the best day. I have been working hard to tell her that today is going to be a great or awesome day. Talking about all of the positive things that the day will bring and not talking about the negative things. A good example of this is today it was raining pretty hard and really gray out, so instead of saying what a yucky day it is I  said, “This is going to be a great day to come home and we can watch a movie on the couch with the family and make a yummy snack.” I also encourage her to say out loud, “today is going to be a great day” or “I am going to have a great day today.” I fully believe this is working for her and she has been having much better days at school and keeping a better attitude even when things don’t go her way.

To sum it all up, positive self-talk might sound or feel weird at first, but if you honestly give it a shot I think you will notice a difference in how well you do at the box or with your kids 😉

If you would like more information on Greg Amundson’s seminar here is a link

Also, don’t forget to send me your goals, so I can start a post to keep track of everyone’s.

Yesterday I attended the Washington State CrossFit Weightlifting Competition at Thrush Sport Performance in Sumner, WA. It was the first event of its kind held at Thrush and was limited to only CrossFitters. There were two lifts the were performed, the snatch and the clean and jerk. It was a great little event to attend and I was able to watch a good friend and member of SnoRidge CrossFit (Sean Newbrey) take first place in his weight class. This event was right on the heels of the Inaugural CrossFit/USA Weightlifting Open in Colorado, held by the USAW. This in my book was a pretty big deal and shows that other areas of athletics are really starting to stand up and take notice of CrossFit. This event not only had some of the best of the best of CrossFit, like Chris Spealer, but also some hardcore weight lifters like Olympian Chad Vaughn. What was really interesting about this event was you had CrossFitters that have some strong lifts be judged on Oly lifting technique, which is something that can definitely slip a little bit when trying to do something for time. And on the other side of the coin you had Oly lifters having to do a CrossFit Triplet that was a 10 min AMRAP of 6 squat cleans 55kg, 12 pull ups, and 24 double unders. I think it was an excellent way for some CrossFitters that are really interested in the Olympic lifts to be able to compete in a true lifting event and even get the recognition of the USAW community if they would like to pursue that avenue and a great chance for some Olympic lifters to see what it is like to do a CrossFit triplet. I think over the next few years you are going to see a much bigger partnership grow between CrossFit and the USA Weightlifting community. Heck, with a good as Spealer did you will probably see him in the next Olympics 😉 If you would like to read more specifics about the even and see the results you can go here If you like to watch the recorded action you can go here
Not only do I think it is cool that all these new events are popping up, but I look at it as opportunities for some nice mini vacations with the kids. If it fun to find an event you want to go to like the event in Colorado and bring the whole family. Go a day or two early, have some fun with the kids in a new area, and get some time to introduce them to some more of the CrossFit family. I feel like CrossFitters in general are a pretty family friendly bunch, which makes it a lot easier for CF parents to be able to attend a variety of events. I am not saying the kids should be allowed everywhere, but the majority of events seem to accept kids just fine as long as you are using your parenting skills.
Here is a video of Sean Newbrey locking in the win for his weight class at yesterday’s event.

Team WODs at the Box and at Home

Posted: October 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

I was just thinking about how my kids have a ton of energy and we are always thinking of ways for them to use it productively, rather than the alternative. This made me remember something I hadn’t done in quite a while, but was a lot of fun. I don’t know about at your box, but Saturdays are often Team WODs. I love the team WOD, because there is always that extra little bit of competition and the comradery is great. Sometimes it allows you to do things that you couldn’t do on your own or do things for longer than you typically can. The teamwork you practice during a WOD like this is awesome and you truly do learn about yourself and other people. You might be thinking, ummmmm how come you started talking about your kids energy and then completely changed the subject? Well, I was leading to the suggestion of setting up some Team WODs at home that you can do as a family. The kids love doing this kind of stuff. They get to work with mom, dad, brothers, sisters, and they get to do some stuff they wouldn’t normally be able to do by themselves. I am definitely not saying that these should be hard-core workouts, they should really be more focused on fun and things that will allow them to get all that crazy kid energy out. You can be super creative and do a relay race obstacle course, head and handstand holds, swinging on a rope or rings and trying to knock down a cone, etc…. whatever you can think of. You don’t even necessarily have to have two teams, I have set up obstacle courses with running and burpees and me and my two kids just did them all together. Also, just a tip, don’t be super picky on stuff like form on burpees. It is really more just to get them moving and not necessarily make sure they are clapping above their heads rather than behind them for example. If you want you can even get a whiteboard and do the whole thing you do at your box, right down names, start the clock, record the times, and even compare against old times. This is something you and your kids can have a ton of fun with. If you think of some really creative ideas let me know. We can all use a little help sometimes thinking of new things to do with our kids.

New Paleo Recipe Ideas

Posted: October 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

Good Morning All, I wanted to share some recipe ideas that one of the blog readers had suggested in a comment on one of my posts. I think they are great and know that the more options you have, the better off you are at sticking with you Paleo Diet. Here you go:

Cabbage (in all its forms) became my pasta. For example I cut it long/thin for spaghetti (Napa works best) and short/fat for a Penne. Rest of the dishes left the same with double the veggies I used to add.

Cauliflower subs for mashed potatoes and rice. Mashed is self explanatory…see link for how to fool yourself into thinking its rice….I don’t have a food processor so I just use a cheese grater and get similar effect:

Lettuce (mostly Romaine and sometimes Butter lettuce) sub for the tortilla when making my favorite wrap/burritos. I also use the biggest leaves I can find in lieu of hamburger/hot dog buns.

The last one right above about using lettuce as your tortilla is great, I make lettuce wrap burgers all the time but I have nave thought to make a taco. Sometimes little suggestions like this just make something click in your head. Sorry I didn’t get to posting these last night, it got a little crazy for me. I will do another post of the day later. Thanks for reading.


Mobility is King

Posted: October 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

Well, I have received some questions on the blog as well as in person about information on flexibility and I have just the Rx for you. If you have never heard of the Mobility WOD or Kelly Starrett, you are in for a real treat. He has some painfully good stretches to increase your mobility. He posts up a new mobility WOD every single day focusing on a different area. Now this is great for anyone, but it is really great for CrossFitters because he always explains how each thing will help you in CrossFit. Usually it is about a 5 to 8 minute video and then it is up to you to do the mobility WOD which can be anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes. It is such a small time out of your day and you can really make some great improvements. I know I have learned a few new stretches that I do before every single WOD. I can’t stress enough the importance of mobility, not only on CrossFit but just overall movement. You may already have something in mind that you would like help with, like tight hamstrings, rolled forward shoulders, impingement, or getting a better overhead squat. Just scroll through his blog and see if he has something for you. He has only been doing it for about 2 months, so not everything is up there yet but there is a ton that already is. As you can see I absolutely love the site and it is a daily visit for me. So check out and start making this part of your daily routine, your body will appreciate it. You may also learn new ways to finally get you to a PR for a lift that you have been struggling with because of your flexibility. Keep the comments coming everyone and if you have a Facebook page, twitter account, blog, website, whatever and you like CrossFit Dad, please feel free to post my link on your site. Have a great day!! Also, check back later because if I have time I am going to post up some new Paleo food suggestions tonight.