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Dec 10 2012

Why Do a Paleo Challenge?

For many of you, the pressure to compete in our summer paleo challenge may haven been a no-brainer, for others, you may still be warming up to the idea. Wherever you stand, we guarantee that if you give this new lifestyle a chance, and commit to the idea, you will see results.

As y0u move forward into the new year, make your best effort to stay traditionally paleo and try to limit your intake of faux-junk food. Paleo-brownies, paleo-cookies, paleo-pancakes are all ok in moderation, but try to avoid over-indulgence whereever possible. While we know you’ll want to start exploring your options with paleo, mimicking everyday junk food on an everyday basis, won’t bring you to your full potential. To see why, read on below.

We found this great post below, written by a CrossFit coach on her blog, “Chalk & Chi” that we’re hoping will help you understand how important nutrition is to your overall fitness, performance in gym, and confidence in life. It will also help a few of you, many of whom who are our long-time paleo adapters- bring your paleo junk food cravings back to where they belong- in MODERATION.

You may have heard the phrase, “Great Work today- now you have 23 hours left in the day to screw it all up.” The same will apply throughout this challenge. This is your chance to get those 23 hours in check- here’s the how and why:

Why Do a Paleo Challenge?

By: Michelle of Chalk & Chi

Seems like any time you google Paleo you get a bazillion links to gyms and blogs tracking people’s experiences with a Paleo Challenge. Our box is even doing a Paleo Challenge: 10 weeks of clean eating for anyone who wants to submit a food diary to one of our coaches. Why do we bother to bug you about what you eat? Are we coaches trying to make you feel like shit? Do we think you need more “character” and so got together and devised this deprivation diet just to piss you off? Are we seeing just how much you’ll let us get away with? Very simply put, you joined this gym in order to get healthy and we promised to give you the tools to do so.

Tool #1: Moving, has been addressed. Now comes Tool #2: Nutrition

Sometimes I wonder if you really understand the purpose of the challenge, of having to dedicate yourself to eating according to Paleo-food rules for ten weeks. The idea is that we’ve all been on a junk-food diet our entire lives. We really have NO clue how our bodies feel if it could be fueled by the purest fuel. This is our chance to find out. Cut out all the junk, see what happens. You have got absolutely NOTHING to lose and everything to gain.

Do you remember being young and being distinctly TOLD something like, “honey, the stove is hot.” Words are nice and all but we didn’t really KNOW the stove was hot till we touched it and got burned. Some learning needs to be experiential in order to sink in and make an impact. These Paleo Challenges are your learning experiences. All the testimonials in the world won’t mean jack until you experience the goodness for yourself.

You know to eat vegetables, meat, some fruit, some nuts, some seeds. Already, if you’re new to Paleo, you’re starting to panic because that list looks awfully short. I assure you, it isn’t! If tomatoes, apples, carrots & the occasional leaf of iceburg sums up your knowledge of the produce department you have got ALOT to learn (hint: it’s all good stuff). So you see this seemingly short list and start to panic and start to devise clever “paleo” alternatives. I can hear you musing, “there must be paleo-french toast, there must be.”  It’s similar to vegeterians eating soy-bologna sandwiches with vegenaise. Yup, I’m sure you, at some point, thought it was funny that vegetarians eat things manufactured to resemble the very foods they strive to avoid, meat. Foods like Tofu-rkey, TVP “bologna” and other lunch meats made of soy & gluten, no-tuna salad and so on. So how is it any different for a Paleoterian to make meals out of Paleo-ified muffins, paleo-ifiedpastas and breads?

I’ve heard “because I miss those foods” as reasoning for eating this stuff each day. What is the point? What are you gaining by pretending? Think about it this way; isn’t it hard to forget about eating cookies if you have your hand in the cookie jar? Carrots will never get a fair chance if you eat them always wishing they were pizza. You’re not about to throw your husband away because he isn’t Rich Froning right? So let’s be mature about this and not throw a fit about faux-bread not being on the menu.

The things I want the most for you to learn:

  • You CAN free yourself from your lifelong junk food diet & all the cravings if you dare to embrace Paleo completely.
  • The grass IS indeed greener (& not treated with RoundUp) on the Paleo side of the fence.
  • Take these ten weeks and go unapologetically head-first into eating Paleo and dare to be be the healthiest you’ve ever been.
  • Don’t eat clean just so you can feel better about an all out Cheat Day.
  • Don’t eat Paleo because you want to justify pizza and cake.
  • Don’t apply conventional ideas (ie: no fat is good fat) to your Paleo-challenge.
  • Don’t Paleoize foods to mimic junk food.
  • Don’t eat Paleo and wish you were eating “normal”. THIS is normal, eating PALEO is normal!

Bon appetit,

Team CF915

Dec 10 2012

OK to Fail

By: Coach Melissa Nunn

Photo Credits: Adam Baca

Failure…. What does it mean to you? What happens when you fail? Do you shut down, or use it as motivation to push forward? I ask, because it happens to all of us.  We don’t pass everything all the time, and that’s OK- even good sometimes.  Everybody fails at one time or another, and if you don’t, then you’re doing something wrong.

Let’s say it’s a PR day or a benchmark WOD and we aren’t faster, stronger, or the weight wasn’t as heavy? Now what? Now is a time to reflect! This is when it helps to have a notebook where you’re writing down as much as possible. Writing down your workouts is awesome, but start including how you’re eating, sleeping and feeling (during and after the WOD).  Look over that journal; reflect on what you’ve been doing in and out of the gym.  Then, make the little changes that may need to be made to get back on track.

Of course, you may be right on track with everything and still not PR and that’s life.  As athletes, our bodies go through peaks and valleys.  It is normal. Understand that as long as you keep working towards your goals you will succeed, even with minor setbacks along the way.  Keep moving forward!

If we always set a new PR, or excel at every WOD, we probably wouldn’t want success as badly. I think the failure in a WOD is what pushes us to come back for more and ultimately work harder.  If you’re feeling bummed about level testing, or there’s a nagging skill that you just can’t seem to accomplish, shake it off, go back to drawing board and attack it.

Dec 10 2012

Get Your Goat!

By: Coach Melissa Nunn

In CrossFit, when we talk about “getting your goat” we aren’t talking about the cute little guy in the picture. We’re talking about those annoying movements that need some extra attention. Something that’s become a real “nag” to overcome or to master. What’s your goat? Wall balls, overhead squats, pullups, hand stand walks, handstand push ups, burpees??  I realize the list is endless. There are so many movements out there that need some attention!

I was working on toes to bars, everyday, for three minutes… Then I stopped. The same thing before the Throwdown with regards to handstand walks. Now, that I have put them on the back burner to work on something else (say, muscle  ups…) these movements have once again become my goats.

So, what to do about getting your goat? I know some people who take 3 minutes a day to work on their weakness. Others, add it to their warm up or cool down. Some, create Tabata mash ups and incorporate their own weaknesses into the WOD. Then, there is the 30 day challenge: day 1 one rep, day 2 two reps, until at the end they’ve done 30 reps… Either way, they haven’t hidden from their weakness, instead they have devised a plan to “own their goat!”

What’s YOUR “goat,” and how do you plan to own it?

Dec 10 2012

Rest for Success

By: Coach Noemi Dimuzio

Why is it that when our bodies are thirsty we give it water, when it’s hungry we give it food however, why is it so hard to listen to our body when it’s crying out for rest?  We tend to ignore what our body is trying to tell us.  We are CrossFitters and CrossFitters strive to be the fastest, strongest and quickest and why not, these are great goals for all of us.  However, at what expense are we putting our bodies through if we are not resting and properly recovering? Many of us think if we rest we will lose muscle, become soft and lose strength. On the contrary if you don’t rest your muscles you will delay the process of gaining muscle strength. After three intense workouts your body needs 24-36 hours of recovery in order to maintain or gain muscle.  If you’re not resting and not giving your body an appropriate  amount of time to recover,  then it’s not a matter if you’re going to get injured it’s a matter of when and how badly you are. Are you falling into this category? Are you over-exercising and not resting? Here are some warning signs that your body is crying out for rest.

  1. A decrease in performance- A drop in your performance is an early sign that your body needs more recovery time.
  2. A disinterest in your exercises- You no longer feel motivated or happy in your physical activities or attending your gym.
  3. Mood changes- You become angry, crying with frustration, depressed, anxious and become irritable.
  4. Delayed recovery time- A nagging injury that takes longer to heal or a prolonged soreness.
  5. Fatigue- Mental and physical grogginess.
  6. Insomnia- When you’re in a state of physical overload it disrupts your sleep patterns. You may wake up in the middle of the night or throughout the night, or have trouble falling asleep.  So instead of getting the sleep and rest you need to recover you delay that process.
  7. Fat gain- You may be losing weight but increasing your body fat. Your body is responding to the prolonged stress by the level of hormones in your body, in turn leads to storage of fat. Instead of gaining muscle you’re actually losing muscle mass.
  8. Weakened immune system- Not resting your body causes a weak immune system, inflammation and injury. For example, a nagging cold that just seems to be taking longer to recover from, or you find yourself getting sick more often.

Just as we listen to our bodies and care for our bodies when they are sick, we should also listen and care for them when our body is telling us rest. Take that day or two to relax, to sit on your couch and watch your favorite TV show. Whether it’s Real Housewives of Miami, MSNBC or How I met your mother grab a paleo snack and enjoy your favorite show, or just hangout with your family or friends and catch up. When you’re done resting your CrossFit family will be awaiting your return to get you back on track. Yes, of course we will always miss you but we want you to be safe and smart about resting.  Taking time off doesn’t mean you’re weak or you can’t handle the work, it’s about listening to your body. Just as you wouldn’t starve yourself to death or let yourself die of thirst, then why ignore all the signs your body is asking for when it needs time to rest. Be smart, Ready! 3-2-1 GO and Rest!

DID YOU KNOW….?

If you’re having a hard time waking up due to grogginess in the morning, did you know… if you drink an 8 oz. ( 1 cup) glass of water as soon as you wake up, you will feel refreshed and alert! Drinking water helps move oxygen faster throughout the body allowing you to become more alert.

Dec 10 2012

Vacation WODs

By: Coach Melissa Nunn

Now that we are in the midst of the holiday season, our lives tend to get even more hectic than before: preparing the perfect holiday meal, finding (then wrapping) that perfect holiday gift, holiday parties, traveling to visit loved ones, etc. Lets be honest, during this time of the year its easy to put our physical needs on the back burner. It’s understandable, we are crazy busy!  However, I think the gym helps us stay sane during what can become an insane season!

If you’re traveling this holiday season, and don’t think you’ll be able to visit a cf gym while you’re away, have no fear! You can still get a great workout done.  It’s simple thanks to these  Vacation WODS you can take on the road with you. These are workouts that usually require only your body. Think squats, push ups, sit ups, and everyone’s favorite: burpees! Pack your jump rope and you can create a KILLER Metcon, to help stave off the unwanted holiday pounds!

Here are a few vacation WODS that I have given On-Ramp members when they’ve missed a class (or want more over the weekend):
1. “Room Service”
20 rounds for time: 5- push ups, 5-squats, 5- sit ups

2. Traveling “Fight Gone Bad” (3 rounds)
1 minute of burpees, 1 minute of squats, 1 minute of sit ups, 1 minute of push ups, 1 minute of double unders, rest 1 minute then repeat 2 more times!

3. “Stay on Track”
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of burpees and
2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16-18-20 of sit ups

4.  Anything for time: 100 burpees, 300 squats, sit ups, etc…

5. Body weight “murph”
1 mile run,  100 push ups, 200 sit ups, 300 squats,  1 mile run

6. If you feel comfortable doing handstand push ups:
20 minute AMRAP: 2- handstand push ups, 4- lunges, 8- drop squats

7.  Griff- run 800 meters, run 400 meters backwards, run 800 meters, run 400 meters backwards

8. 20-16-12-8-4: pistols and push ups

9. Vacationing filthy fifty (50 of every movement)
50 drop squats, 50 push ups, 50 walking lunges, 50 v-ups, 50 push presses (use a purse or light bag), 50 supermans, 50 burpees, 50 double unders

10. Check out this website for other ideas:
http://www.crossfituac.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/vacation-wods.pdf

In all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, don’t forget to take care of yourself! Enjoy time with your family! Enjoy the delicious food of the season (IN MODERATION)!