Archive for December, 2010

Nutrition Malfunction

Posted: December 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

It has been a long holiday season with New Years coming up in two days. There has been tons of cookies and candy at work, holiday parties, visiting with family, and almost none of it has been paleo. Now I try to keep a pretty darn clean diet and since about Thanksgiving I have been slowly eating worse and worse. Sometimes all of these delicious treats that are in abundance during this time of year and just too hard for me to pass up. Well I am paying for all this bad eating in full. My worst few days were Christmas Eve through the day after Christmas and when it was WOD time on Monday I could definitely feel the effects of all of that unhealthy eating. When Monday rolled around and I went into the box I saw that the WOD was DT a hero WOD. Now all hero WODs are pretty darn hard, but by the end of the first round of this five rounder I was already spent and sweating up a storm. It basically felt like I was running on empty and just had to gut it out to make it through. There just wasn’t that extra juice or even enough energy to get half way through feeling strong. I was drenched with sweat by the end and that is not typical either, the worse I have been eating the more my body produces. Even outside of CrossFit I have been feeling much more tired and fighting the urges to take a nap in the middle of the day. I love a good cinnamon roll now and then, but maybe four in one day is excessive 😉 Well I can’t change how I was eating the last month, but I can get my butt back on track. Once you have been eating Paleo for a while and then fall off the wagon for a bit you can really see and feel the drastic difference between eating clean and not. You start packing on the extra weight, you feel more lethargic, and WODs are just more difficult. For me I just want to get back to having all of the energy I had because life is sooooo much better feeling that way. I would rather be making big gains at CrossFit rather than just trying to gut through a WOD and make small and much slower gains. Don’t get me wrong, junk food tastes fantastic, but I have decided feeling fantastic is a million times better. Time to go back to eating clean, real food and only eating non paleo in moderation. I usually follow the 80/20 to 90/10 rule and you know it works great for me because the food I am eating truly does taste better than processed junk. Time to kick this new year off with a bang and get back to good. I have a feeling that a lot of CrossFit boxes are going to be having some Paleo challenges and I strongly encourage you to participate. Hope everyone had a great Christmas time and holiday season!!!!

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What keeps you coming back?

Posted: December 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

You know I started writing my blog today and got about half way through and just erased it. It just didn’t feel right, like it was to cookie cutter and not raw enough. I love CrossFit and keep coming back because I like to kick ass. I like to come in and see who has that top spot on the board and then try to beat it. I like to feel fit, like I can be a contender in whatever I try. I like seeing my CF family everyday. It is a chance to hang out with some great people who I like being around. I like to start seeing the gap close between my times and some of the monsters at the box. And I like it even more when I really make them work to beat my time. I love to see my 2 1/2 year old son doing back squats with the wrapping paper roll left on the ground. I love seeing my daughter watch her mom doing pull ups and rope climbs just like her dad to show her that girls kick ass too. I love that it is family friendly and my entire family participates. I enjoying pushing myself, but sometimes I only enjoy that after I have done the pushing 😉 It just feels awesome to be fit and healthy. What keeps you coming back?

Sectionals Training Week 2

Posted: December 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

So this past weekend I had the second Sectionals training WOD with my team and I was dreading it. Not because it was just Sectionals training, but because I knew we were doing Josh and Josh has Over Head Squats in it. After my first Sectionals training WOD I was feeling pretty humbled and now for the second one to be hit with my nemesis the OHS, I was starting to feel like my coach was picking the specific stuff that I such at. I wake up early last Saturday with my kids and get breakfast ready to make sure I have time to fuel up properly before hitting the WOD and as soon as breakfast is over I am focused on searching the mobility WOD site to find all of the stretches I could to help me out with my OHS. I find a few good videos and watch them intensely and then about 30 minutes before we need to leave for the box I start going through some of these stretches. We get to the box and I quickly crank through the warm up and go back to my stretches and then do 3 sets of 10 with the 45lb bar of OHS. My stomach is filled with butterflies and at this point I just want to start the damn WOD. Finally it is time to begin and 3-2-1- Go…… I am off to the races, I did scale the OHS down to 75 lbs, but for me that is great because I usually use a working weight of 55 or 65 which is pathetic, but it allows me to use the best form I can. Well, I cruised through the OHS and was unbroken every round. I felt like a million bucks, like I had just done the WOD Rx in a competition and blown everyone else away is how I felt. It really gave me a huge boost for the entire day, I was so excited that I had to tell everyone there that those were the best OHS I had ever done. There are two things I want to point out about this and the first one is, it is important to work on your weaknesses because if you don’t they will always be your weakness and the second thing is, always prepare the best you can. If you put in the extra time to prepare for the specific task you are doing, it will help a ton. I feel like I had unlocked the secret of doing OHS and really all it took was to really focus on warming up my body very thoroughly for that specific movement. Dont’ get me wrong, I know I have a long way to go to make this a strength for me, but I finally feel like I have the tools to start progressing forward. Now what is week 3 have in store for me?????

No Sectionals this year???

Posted: December 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

This last Saturday was my Box’s first Sectionals training and it was a humbling experience. We started out the gate with what I consider super heavy squat clean of 175# and some handstand push-ups. I had to scale the squat cleans unfortunately, but the hspu’s I Rx’d. It was a brutal little couplet and some of the other guys killed it and did it all Rx. This made me feel like, whoa, what I am getting myself into. Then after the WOD was over several people told me, “Good Job” and I went on with my day with a little uneasiness about Sectionals. By about dinner time I had gotten over my humbling experience and remembered that, I know that I am not a Rock Star at everything and this was a great way to show me a weakness that I didn’t know I had. Now I can focus a little more and some of the heavier weights, I am more of a bodyweight guy. So I was back to feeling stoked and ready to head into Sectionals to do battle with whatever they had to throw at me and just do my best. I may now kill em at the heavy weights, but I can certainly hold my own with the metcons and bodyweight movements. Then it came, on Saturday night a friend posted up on Facebook that Sectionals was a no go. I was like WTF, no way, let me look into this. There was a video posted on CrossFit Journal and they talked a little bit about this year’s Sectionals and there will be Sectionals, but not in the same format as last year. Unfortunately it is not a small change and a sucky change in my opinion. This year instead of getting everyone together in one location, on one weekend, to do multiple WODs, and compete against other like yourself, it is all going to be done online over a 6 week period. The info that is out so far says that they will post up a WOD for a week and you can video yourself or be videoed at a box and send that in to be part of the running to get into Regionals. At this point it also looks like you can send in more that one video if you do the WOD again and get a better time. When I first heard this I was pissed and it really fired me up. How could HQ take away a great in person event like Sectionals? I believe that what you are missing by handling it online is, the camaraderie, the competition, the standardized judging, the ability to volunteer, the overall fun and excitement of an in person event. Last year my wife and I volunteered at Sectionals and Regionals and that is what made us want to do it this year. I there were many stories of how people were kicking butt together and cheering on everyone, even if they were competing against you. So much good came out of Sectionals it is hard to believe that this massive change has happened. Now that I have had a few days to ingest this information, I am still massively disappointed, but will roll with the punches and move forward as is. I am hoping there will be such an uproar about this that next year it will be back with force, but we will see I guess. And who knows, maybe when all the details are out it won’t be as bad as it sounds, I am really trying to think positive on this one. Either way I am going to continue to train on the Sectionals team and will continue to report out after my training sessions, but I am really having to dig a bit deeper to be as excited as I was before.

Tell me what you think about Sectionals going online, I would love to hear your comments. For example what happens if you are doing a WOD and to finish there are 20 box jumps and on the last one it is determined by the video reviewer that you didn’t open your hips enough, no one was there to no rep you in person and let you know you needed to do one more. Or if you are having a coach watch you and they say it is ok, but the video reviewer disagrees? Over the past few months there have been a lot of online contests to win stuff and I have seen some great technique and form and I have seen some horrible form, but that horrible form has not been called out and poor quality movement has been counted. I’m just sayin, how can this work as well as in person????

 

Tactics for CrossFit and Life

Posted: December 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

So this week I was lucky enough to attend a training class at work on leadership. I was not planning on attending because I have been swamped with work and then the morning of the training I received an e-mail from my boss’s boss and he said that he highly encouraged me to go and if I needed help clearing my calendar he would help make it work. This pretty much meant, clear you calendar because you are going. I showed up in the large conference room with a bunch of coworkers and was talking with everyone about how this was going to be a waste of time. Fast forward 4 hours and I walked out thinking, wow that was really good information. It is rare at work to come across training that is not only applicable to work, but also applicable to your life. Now I want to share with you just a couple of the highlights that I think not only are good advice for CrossFit, but your home life as well.

The first thing was set up in this context, as a group we were instructed to answer “Yes!” loudly or be silent if our answer was no to a series of questions that were being asked. The questions and everyone’s answers went something like this, “Are your customers important”, “Yes!”, “Do you care what they think”, “Yes!”, “Do you ask them for feedback”, “Yes!”, “Do you act on their feedback”, “Yes!”, “Do you ever ask your significant other what you could be doing better as a partner?” and then it was pretty much total silence. We spend so much time caring about what customers, coworkers, and bosses think, but we rarely if at all have ever ask our significant other, “What can I do to be a better husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend…..?” So I hope I am not losing you yet because I haven’t mentioned anything about CrossFit, but I promise you it is coming 😉 This really struck a chord with me and thought that is a great idea, a little awkward feeling for some weird reason, but a good idea. Then that instructor took it one step further, what about asking your kids, “What can I do to be a better parent?” He then told a story about the first time he did that with his then 11-year-old daughter. He posed the question to her and said, “Dad, you travel A LOT, but that isn’t what bothers me. When you are home you are always on the phone, answering a text, e-mailing, or watching sports. Three weeks ago I really wanted to go to a party on a Saturday and mom told me I had to stay home and spend time with you since you were home and I was really upset because I had to stay home and spend time with you and you didn’t spend any time with me.” Now if you are a parent that probably makes you feel a bit sad and question what time you spend with your kids. These are very simple questions to can ask and get real, tangible, actionable, priceless advice from the people who you actually care about. Not just once, but make it a somewhat regular practice. I will take it another step and say this is also something you can use with your CrossFit trainers. I have heard several people at different times talk about how they really want to be better but aren’t sure what to do or have a skewed view of what their weaknesses are. They also sometimes complain that a trainer isn’t working with them enough, so they can get better. Well, have you ever go up to one of your trainers and flat-out asked, “What can I do to be a better CrossFit athlete?” I bet you they will have some advice. Then it is up to you to act on that advice and hold them accountable to help you if they have said they will do so. Sometimes we dont’ see our own weaknesses and really need that outside opinion to let clear out vision.

The second piece of knowledge that I gained that I really love is simply called the Checklist. I am not going to drive into the context of how this was presented, but I will give you the information about what it is, how to use it, and why I think it is pretty powerful. The Checklist is very simple, first you need someone you can talk to preferably every day like a peer mentor, significant other, or friend. You don’t need to talk for very long, maybe just 5 minutes or so. Come up with a list of questions that have answers that are either Yes, No, or a number. An example for a question that has answer for a number is how many times did I do xyz today or on a scale of 1 to 10. Then every night get with whoever you are working with and have them ask you that questions and one of you can write down your answers to these questions. Now to the meaty part, these questions should be about things you want to change, do more of, do less of, or are important to you. Some of the questions we talked about were things like, did I spend 1 on 1 time with my kids today, did I say something nice to my wife today, did I say anything destructive to my kids today, did I says something nice to my kids today, how many times did I yell at my kids today, how happy was I today, did I work on progression toward xyz goal, did I brush my teeth, did I schedule my physical, I think you get the idea by now. Now imagine you created a list like this and used some of the questions above and lets say you got to the question about saying something nice to you wife today and the answer was no, doesn’t that seem pretty lame? Or what if at the end of the week you saw you had not spent any 1 on 1 time with your kids. It is a fantastic visual about what you are or aren’t doing that is really important to you. It is kind of like a report card that someone is holding you accountable to and it is painful to visually see that you are failing in the test that you set up for yourself. Because of this you will try much harder to get a good report card and in turn, truly be working on the things that mean the most to you. Now this one applies to CrossFit because if you have a goal of getting a muscle up and one of your questions is, did I work on muscle up progressions today and you say no everyday then you know you aren’t getting anywhere and that you need to put out more effort to make that answer a yes. My suggestion is to created a list of personal questions and then a few about things in CrossFit that you would like to improve at.

After writing this I am hoping you will try some or all of what I have written because I simply don’t think these two paragraphs do these topics justice. These are simple things you can do easily that have major ramifications to improve your life and the lives of those you love.