Our Current Strength Cycle

April 21, 2014

Hatch Squat Cycle

We are currently starting the fourth week of our strength cycle (thankfully with a deload deadlift day).  I have talked with James and Dana and I try to continually keep an update on what everyone thinks during each cycle.  I have heard a lot of positive remarks about the current cycle as well as some grumbling about the heavy weight in both the strengths and workouts.  I figured if everyone understood the reasoning and rationale for what we do and then why we do it, it would allow everyone to understand how this cycle will help them.

 

I first want to talk about what this gym is about.  I have spent a lot of time the last few months trying to figure out exactly what Crossfit Mount Laurel wants to help each athlete accomplish.  If you have visited other Crossfit gyms, you know that there are many different kinds of gyms (that's without even bringing in non-Crossfit globo gyms).  Some gyms are all about creating athletes for competitions, others are for beginners, while some just want you to have a good time.  After talking with Larry, he helped me to realized that we don't do anything at the gym without a purpose (which doesn't mean we aren't going to have fun doing it!).  Every day you come in, you are working off a structured plan to help you reach you goals.  This is why we work in strength cycles and deloads.  This is also why we bring on new challenges - things like 20 rep benchmarks, the Hatch Squat cycle now, and the gymnastics focus of last cycle.  All of these things are designed to get you to your goals, whatever they may be - things like running a half marathon, completing your first workout RX'd, going kayaking on the river, or competing in Regionals. 

 

I have decided that what we do here at CFMTL is we "SET GOALS, REACH GOALS, CELEBRATE THEM, and then SET NEW GOALS."

 

So what does this mean to you?  It means you should have a goal in place, something with a time frame and a tangible change.  One of my favorite changes to see in an athlete usually happens in the first 2 months.  When people start, their goal is usually to simply lose body fat.  Then as they get into working out the goals turn more task based - things such as to get my first pullup, or to do double unders in a workout.  When your goal becomes performance based, it can be a lot easier to start putting steps in place to reach that goal.  For new members, this means that we are definitely your home if you want to put a structure into place that will help you identify your goals and then put together a plan to reach them.  I am also hoping to get more information out on goals and how to set them over the next month, so we can help streamline the goal reaching process.

 

Back to the current cycle.  I like to treat the Crossfit Open as our competition season (similiar to playoffs for sports).  For some people this is a chance to measure up against the rest of the world.  For others, the Crossfit Open means absolutely nothing.  That's fine!  Imagine if you were a baseball player that played the same baseball schedule 52 weeks a year.  Year after year of 4-5 baseball games a week would take a huge physical toll on your body and even if your body was fine, you would mentally quit without an offseason to switch it up and recharge.  This is why I use general seasons for the programming, so that we can have a structured layout over the year that helps us reach our current goals. 

 

Since we just finished competition season, it makes the most sense to use this first 12 week cycle of the "new year" to get stronger.   I have chosen to put higher skill movements on the backburner (olympic lifting, gymnastic movements, thrusters, wallballs) to instead focus on making everyone stronger - especially in the squat and pulling movements.  This will be helpful, because if you can increase your squat, all of the sudden wallballs, squat cleans, pistols, thrusters, rowing, running and other movements using your legs will be become easier.  The same goes for the deadlift and bench which can help strengthen all pulling and pushing movements respectively.  We can focus on just pure strength because this is our off season where we don't need to worry about performing each movement with perfect efficiency to save time during workouts.  That is why this cycle has put things like burpee progressions and handstand push-up work on the side while we just get stronger.  Imagine how much easier power cleaning 135/95 will be after this cycle has asked you to repeatedly power clean 20, 30+ pounds more.

 

Now that you hopefully understand the why of what we are doing, we can get into the how a little bit.  On Tuesday and Fridays you will squat in the strength and the workout.  This also means that your legs will get minimal work on the other 3 days, simply because we need all the recovery we can get by the next squat day.  You will also notice that the workouts on these days are heavy and are 4 rounds of some form of squatting coupled with non-leg heavy movements.  We will almost always do our workouts for time and reps and this is no exception, but time is really not the most important part of these days.  The focus instead should be on hitting each round of squats with solid form and without breaking them up.  If you take a little time on these workouts, but move the weight each time, then you will be doing what is necessary to reach the goal of this cycle - to get stronger.

 

In case you are curiuos about the general outline of the year it will look something like this (note this is a very broad idea).

February to March - Crossfit Open

March to June - Strength Cycle focusing on the power lifts

June to August - Strength Cycle focusing on the olympic lifts

August to November - Movement cycle focusing on applying our new strength to each movement

November to February - Weakness cycle focusing on working on our weak points and going over the finer points of each movement.

 

Remember this is a very broad schedule, so don't worry about this too much.  We will still be olympic lifting during each cycle.  We also will still be teaching and coaching movements during each cycle.  This is to just give you a very basic idea of where the programming will head month to month.  Also remember that there is a deload process after each cycle that we will go through (I chose to leave these out to keep it simple).  The deload is similiar to my baseball off season analogy as it will allow us to recharge both mentally and physically before taking on a new cycle.

 

I hope everyone begins to understand the purpose of this cycle.  If you have any general questions, or just want to talk about you personally - reach out to your off the floor coach.  We are there to help you with nutrition, personalized extra work to help you with certain movements, and anything else we can give you information on.  If you have any questions on the cycle itself, just email me at tommy@crossfitmtl.com


Benefits of Olympic Lifting Shoes

April 17, 2014

Oly Shoes

 

Many of you here at CFMTL now own a pair of Olympic weightlifting shoes and notice a big difference in your squatting and oly lifts but do you know why wearing these shoes is so beneficial?

It is obvious that Olympic weightlifting shoes are not just any ordinary shoe.  Oly shoes have a hard, flat sole, an elevated heel, straps, and a snug fit around your foot. Here are some benefits to the shoe.

Elevated Heel:  This is the most important feature of the shoe.  Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to squat with a raised heel (put 5 lb plates underneath your heels, and you will notice the difference)?  You can get deeper in your squat, knees stay out, and your ankle flexibility is improved.  That is what the elevated heel does for your squat.   Olympic shoes typically have at minimum .5” to a 1” heel, which allows you to utilize every aspect of your musculature for the lift you're going for.  People who have tight ankles and hips will see a huge improvement in their ability to squat while wearing Oly shoes.   The raised heel also allows the lifter’s chest to stay upright, even in the bottom of a deep squat with the bar held overhead or racked across the deltoids.

Hard, flat sole: When these shoes first came to be, the soles were made of wood.  Nowadays, a lot of brands have a hard, plastic sole.  The reason for these hard, flat soles is to get as much force off the ground as possible.  Squats, snatch, clean and jerk are some of the movements that will benefit most from this force that is created.  When you wear regular shoes, you will notice a softer sole.  The result of this is that you are only going to generate about 90% (give or take a little) of the force, whereas with Oly shoes you will be getting 100% of the force off the ground.

Straps: This is the last feature of olympic lifting shoes.  These straps give a snug fit feeling.  In the olympic lifts and squats, you don’t want your foot to be slipping around inside the shoes.  You want your feet to be in a nice, secure stable position.   More stability means that you'll have a very consistent platform from which to push. Not at all inconsistent, unlike that from compressible soled shoes.These straps also allow you to push out against the side of the shoe with your foot, increasing hip activation.  More hip activation will translate to a stronger pull or squat.

Now, which shoe should you buy?  All weightlifting shoes serve the same purposes that I have mentioned above, now it is just finding what pair is comfortable and works for you.  Everyone has different preferences, so you might swing and miss a couple times before you find the right one.  For Crossfit, I would suggest the Reebok Lifters.  These are designed so that you can perform other movements outside of squats and oly lifts like box jumps and double unders for example.  Some other brands that I have heard good things about are Nike, Adidas, and Do-Win.

If you were on the fence about whether or not you should get a pair, hopefully this was helpful and you will now all go and purchase a pair.

 


CFMTL GOES BOWLING

April 9, 2014

Saturday, April 26th at 10pm at Laurel Lanes

Our next CFMTL event will be at night of bowling on Saturday, April 26th starting at 10pm at Laurel Lanes (2825 Route 73 South, Maple Shade, NJ 08052).  The cost will be $25 per person. This includes 3 hours of bowling and shoe rental.  Please bring in your money and hand it to any coach so that we can have somewhat of a headcount beforehand.  Also, connected to Laurel Lanes is Brewsters Pub for us to go hang out at.

 

Some other upcoming events to look out for:

  • Phillies tailgate and game
  • Beach WOD
  • Dance Class
  • Bar Crawl


Upcoming Progams: Run Club, HS Strength & Conditioning, Clinic Schedule

March 31, 2014

It's back!

RUN CLUB

The Run Club is back!  Starting in April, Saturdays will be devoted to building your running skill.  There will be 2 classes to choose from.  One class will be for beginners.  A second class for those who want to push their running to new levels.  Additionally a number of members will be meeting to do runs together on other days.  These runs will be organized on the CFMTL Run Club Facebook page.

The Saturday classes will last 1 hour.  We will be teaching & reinforcing the POSE METHOD (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7zEruVUwr4).  Each class will generally look like this:

Warm-up (5-10 min)Learn/practice/drill POSE (15-20 min)Do a Run workout (10-15 minutes)Stretching & Mobility work (5-10 min)

POSE RUNNING METHOD

EXPLANATION

DATES/TIMES

Brand New To Running as a Skill

We will start from the beginning with posture, skill breakdown, and drills.  Your skill and confidence will increase each week.  If you attend all 6 weeks, you will look forward to a WOD that contains a run!  Guaranteed.

Saturday 10:00 – 11:00

4/5, 4/12, 4/19, 4/26, 5/3, 5/10

Push Your Running to New Levels

After a quick review of the basics, we will use a variety of drills to reinforce and improve your running mechanics.  After 6 sessions you will be a CFMTL POSE Method Ninja.

Saturday 11:00 – 12:00

4/5, 4/12, 4/19, 4/26, 5/3, 5/10

 

Contact Larry Friedman (friedman.larry@verizon.net) if you have questions.

 

HIGH SCHOOL STRENGTH & CONDITIONING CLASS

Starting Monday, June 23rd we will be offering a High School Strength and Conditioning class.  The class will be 1-hour long and will utilize compound movements and high intensity to increase all aspects of fitness.

Cost will be $110 per month from June 23rd to August 31st (month of June will be prorated and if you need to end early we will take that into consideration).  Class will be held Monday through Friday at 11am.  Then beginning September 1st, we will have classes just three times per week - Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 4pm - at a cost of $80 per month. 

 

CLINIC SCHEDULE

Below is the upcoming clinic schedule.  These clinics will be capped at 8 people and will cost $15 with half off if you are an unlimited member.

Snatch: Wednesday, April 16th at 7:30pm with Tommy

Muscle-up: Thursday, April 17th at 5:30pm with James

Clean and Jerk: Tuesday, April 22nd at 6:30pm with Dana

Handstands: Thursday, May 1st at 6pm with James

Kipping (Pull-ups and Toes-to-Bar): Tuesday, May 6th at 7pm with Dana


New Cycle Breakdown

March 31, 2014

Goal: To get stronger

I hope everyone enjoyed the Crossfit Open.  It was fun to see everyone push themselves to their limits every Saturday and now we have a year to improve until it comes back around!

Normally after each dedicated strength cycle, we re-test our maxes to find out where we now are.  Since the open started immediately following last strength cycle, I chose to focus on the open workouts rather than worry about findind new maxes.  When I designed the new upcoming cycle, I took this into account.  Usually I would have everyone use training maxes - take 90% of their max and use that number, because this cycle will get pretty heavy in weight and volume.  Instead we are going to use our full maxes to account for the improvement that happened on the last cycle.  At the end of this cycle we will be retesting, I promise.

This new cycle is taking a break from focusing solely on the clean and jerk and snatch form and will be focusing on overall strength.  Some movements also will take a back seat - as we focus on getting stronger on the back squat, deadlift, bench, and olympic lifting complexes.  I know that if you can squat more, your wallballs and thruster will become easier.

 

Also this cycle will stick to Thursday and Sunday as the off days.

 

BENCH

We will be benching once a week.  The bench should help to improve overall strength for the pushup and any kind of overhead press.  The bench is actually the most confusing part, so I will do my best to explain it.  I know I even confused Dana a little, so read up even if you already got her explanation.  The bench will rotate between Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.  The first 5 weeks of the cycle will be the same for everyone, and then it will adapt based on how well you do.

Week 1 : 5x Max Reps (capped at 8 reps) at 60%

Week 2 : 5x Max Reps (capped at 8) at 65%

Week 3 : 5x Max Reps (capped at 5) at 70%

Week 4 : 5x Max Reps (capped at 5) at 75%

Week 5 : 5x Max Reps (capped at 3) at 80%

Ideally each week you will do 5 sets at the capped number.  If you end up completing less reps, that is fine, you will still move on to the next week.  Almost everyone will have no problem until week 6.  If you do have a problem, you probably are not using a realistic max.  After week 6, it will start to auto regulate.  If you hit 5x3 at 80% on week 5, then you will add 5 pounds and go for 5x max (capped at 3) again.  If you did not complete 5x3 at 80%, you will take a set away the following week and stay at that same weight (so you will do 4x3 at 80%).  If you complete the 4x3 that week, then the following week you will stay at 4x3 but add the 5 pounds.  If you don't complete the 4x3 then the following week you will drop down for 3x3.  This will continute until week 11, where we will retest your 1 rep max.

 

SQUAT

We will be back squatting on Tuesdays and Fridays.  We are running a variation of the hatch cycle, which involves back squatting as the strength twice a week.  On those days, you will also be doing some variation of squatting (front squat, squat clean, or overhead squat) in the workout.  The workout will usually be 4 rounds, the squatting movement will be a % of your max (not a set weight) and it will be paired with movements that will allow the legs to rest.  I basically am using the crossfit class structure to trick everyone into getting a high level of squat volume.

 

DEADLIFT

I don't want to mess with something that works.  We will be running Wendler's 5/3/1 again this cycle for the deadlift.  This means we will be running three 4 week cycles.  A cycle consists of a day of 3x5, a day of 3x3, then a day that works up to a heavy single.  The fourth week will be a light deload week.  The 5/3/1 progem uses weights that you can definitely hit and will keep you lifting heavy each week.  On the last set of weeks 1-3, you do not have to stop at the written number of reps.  If you can do more reps while maintaining excellent form, then you can continute going.  There is no magic to this program, just consistent work which should help everyone get stronger and more confident with the deadlift.

Week 1 : 5x75%, 5x80%, 5x85%

Week 2 : 3x80%, 3x85%, 3x90%

Week 3 : 5x75%, 3x85%, 1x95%

Week 4 : 5x60%, 5x65%, 5x70%

 

OLYMPIC LIFTING COMPLEXES

For the olympic lifting, we will be focusing on complexes.  While increasing your 1 rep max on the Snatch and Clean and Jerk is important, if you cannot take that pure strength and use it for reps, then it won't have a direct carryover to your Crossfit workouts.  This will also help us to build up grip strength, get better at moving weight with an elevated heart rate, and working time under tension.

 

We are going to have some fun and test out the Shankle Complex this Saturday.  We will then retest it during week 12 to show how much you have improved.  Here is Donny Shankle completing how own complex with 440 pounds.  No big deal.

 

EXTRA WORK

There will be extra work posted everyday but Thursday and Sunday.  The extra work will be filling in the gaps that the program is not focusing on.  You will see a lot of olympic lifting, odd object, midline work, and hamstring work.  If you want to do the extra work, plan to hang around 10-15 minutes after class.

 

The goal for this workout is to make you stronger.  If you eat properly during this cycle, it will also make you look damn good in a bathing suit.  It is the start of April now so start to tighten up your nutriton and don't hesitate to use your off the floor coach to help you out.

 

 


And the winner is.....

March 19, 2014

Paleo Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the following who are our Paleo Challenge Winners:

Jamie received a perfect score of 180 points for her eating.

Lisa had the biggest improvement in her workout.  She improved 75 reps.

Karen lost a total of 6.75 inches.

And the before and after pictures were tough.  It's going to be a tie between Priscilla and Jeanette.

You all did awesome and are looking amazing!!  I hope you all continue to keep it up.  If you have any Paleo questions or need help staying/getting back on track, do not hesitate to ask.


Paleo Challenge

March 18, 2014

Last Day to Enter Info!!

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO GET ALL OF YOUR PALEO INFO IN!!! WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED TOMORROW!

Enter your food points here: Scoresheet

Enter your After photos here: End of Challenge Form

 There will be 4 winners. There will be 1 winner based off of points, 1 off of measurements, 1 on biggest WOD improvement, and 1 based off of the before/after photos.  Winners will receive: 1 months membership, a sampler from Steve's Paleo Kits, $30 to Lululemon, and $30 to Whole Foods.


New Cycle and Upcoming Events

March 16, 2014

New Cycle and Upcoming Events

I hope everyone is enjoying the open so far.  The open is awesome because it creates a competitive atmosphere that shows everyone how hard they can push themselves.  The open isn't necessarily about making it to regionals, it is about pushing yourself.  It has been so cool to see things like Kelly Ghegan get her first chest to bar pull-up in a workout, Meri to PR her deadlift, and Yelena to RX her first workout with chest to bar pullups and 65# overhead squats.

To celebrate the end of the open (we have 2 more weeks), we will be having a BBQ after the last heat of the Open on Saturday, March 29th.  When you finish your workout on the last week, you will be given a beer (word on the street is Syl will be bringing some Sylvies for the non-beer drinkers.)  I will also get some food to grill out back to go with your alcoholic beverage.

 

Also, the week after the final open workout, we will be turning off the computers (they will only be on for our music).  Competition is great and is one of the strongest motivators we have, but sometimes you need to realize that if it isn't fun, it won't be sustainable.  For the week starting Monday, March 31st, the workout will not be posted online and we will not be recording our times or weights on the computers.  I think it will be a fun little experiment to give you a week off from "leaderboarding" and for you to just push yourself through a workout for yourself.  You will be coming into the class "blind" to the workout and I am going to ask that the morning athletes don't tell the later classes the workout no matter how bad they ask.  We will still be running the clock during the workout, but we won't be storing them in the computer.

 

Upcoming Cycle

I am about halfway through on creating the upcoming cycle.  This next cycle is going to be 12 weeks long, but it should be a fun one.  We are going to take a step back from the olympic lifts and just focus on getting stronger.  We will be using the Hatch Squat cycle and squatting on Tuesdays and Fridays (here is a link to the full Hatch cycle, I did bastardize it to some extent buit it will still be farily close - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AqDfpQ0A9vF1dENwdnZ2aEV2NEwxQ0ZFU2JnNG5tTEE#gid=0 ).  On these days we will be back squatting as the strength and then the workout will include some form of squatting (front, overhead, squat cleans).  Because we will be squatting in the strength and workout 2x a week, the other days will feature minimal squatting.  This also means that the new cycle will focus on more deadlifting and benching (you can expect to see each every 7-10 days).  We will still be olympic lifting, but we will be focusing more in complexes especially those using the power and pull versions of the lift - a complex means a series of lifts done together such as 3 hang cleans + 1 push jerk + 1 split jerk.  I will write up a full post as we get closer to the new cycle.

We will be continuing to use the activation exercises in the warm-up.  Since adding the shoulder activation band protocol, complaints of shoulder tighness and pain have dropped to almost nothing.  It has been incredible.  We will continute to program them in the warm-up 2-3 times a week, so if you want more, you can come in early and do the bands yourself on the other days (it can be done everyday).

 

We also are in planning for a couple of events.  Dana is currently working on a potluck, a bowling night, and we are coming up on the time for another bar crawl.  As we iron out the dates and details, we will announce the information.

 

Don't forget to sign up for the mud run we are doing in the summer.  We usually all carpool from the gym and have a blast on the race.  Do not worry about what kind of shape you are in, as we all tend to run in 3-4 big groups.  There usually is a fast group and a group that hangs around and takes their time throughout the course.

The race will take place on Sunday, July 13th. When registering, enter "Crossfit Mount Laurel" as your team name and the heat start time of 10:45. Here is the link:


http://www.ruggedmaniac.com/events-details/items/new-jersey-2014.html

 

 


Weekly Mobility Class

March 10, 2014

Learn to properly execute and identify which mobility exercises coordinate with different strength and WOD components to maximize your performance.

When a joint (ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, etc.) is unable to move through its full range, we call it compromised. When compromised movement is present in a joint, surrounding joints take up the slack, creating extra stress all around. A typical example is inflexible ankles that can create stress and injury to the knees, hips, and lumbar spine.   Everything in our body is connected in a “kinetic chain”.  Poor mobility in one area can cause pain and stress in seemingly unrelated areas.  This becomes especially true with the extra stress we place on ourselves each day at CrossFit.  During a typical one-hour class we don’t have time to do in-depth mobility work.  In an effort to help you develop your own mobility warm-ups and cool-downs, as well as help you with issues you may currently be dealing with, Larry Friedman and James will be facilitating “Mobility WODs” on Thursday evenings.  Each Thursday will have a specific focus (see the schedule below).  You can sign up through WODIFY and there is NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE for members.  If this is successful we will look for other ways to expand on this theme.  For questions, contact Larry at friedman.larry@verizon.net or James at james@crossfitmtl.com.

              

SESSION

DATE

   TIME

FOCUS

1

THUR 3/13

   6:40-7:25 PM

Thoracic Spine (Upper back, neck, scapula)

2

THUR 3/20

   6:40-7:25 PM

Shoulder (Lat, Deltoid, Pec)

3

THUR 3/27

   6:40-7:25 PM

Arm (Triceps, Elbow, Forearm, wrist)

4

THUR 4/3

   6:40-7:25 PM

Trunk (Psoas, lower back, QLs)

5

THUR 4/10

   6:40-7:25 PM

Posterior Chain (Glutes, Hips, hamstrings)

6

THUR 4/17

   6:40-7:25 PM

Anterior Chain (Hip Flexsors, Quads)

7

THUR 4/24

   6:40-7:25 PM

Shin & Calf

8

THUR 5/1

   6:40-7:25 PM

Ankle & Plantar Surface


The Challenge is Coming to an End...

March 10, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 29

So after today, Monday, you have one more day left on the challenge.  Even though we will be doing the post testing on Sunday, after tomorrow you will no longer have to post your points.  

End of Challenge Testing (measurments/WOD) will be Sunday, March 16th at 11am.  If you are unable to make this, please let me know and we will figure out when I can get your measurements and you will do the WOD one day in class.

For the before/after pictures, use the link below to fill out the End of Challenge Questionaire and upload your after photos.  

End of Challenge Questionaire

Make sure you have your spreadsheets completely updated, pictures uploaded, and after testing all done by Sunday, March 16th.

Scoresheet

There will be 4 winners.  The prize for these winners will be 1 month membership, Steve's Paleo Goods, a gift card to Whole Foods, and a gift card to Lululemon.

One last thing, since we had to cancel the Paleo Potluck in the middle of the challenge, would you all be interested in having it on Sunday after we are finished with everything.  Please let me know your thoughts and if there is interest so I can get the word out.

E-mail me at danap@crossfitmtl.com if you have any questions.

 


How to Say NO

March 6, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 28

Almost to Day 30!  Hopefully you have all adapted by now and are seeing positive results.  I can say that I am seeing a big difference in many of you - both in your performances and the way you look.

Once the “challenge” is over and you have no one to report to, it makes it very easy to give in to temptations.  Here is an article that was recently posted on Mark’s Daily Apple.  Great timing for the end of this challenge.

 

How To Say "No" To Yourself

 

 


Bacon Wrapped Dates

March 6, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 25 (I messed up yesterday's day!)

As you may have noticed, my cooking skills are not that great so the simpler the better for me.  Here is one of my favorite snacks that is super easy to make.
 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pack uncooked bacon (12 slices)
  • 24 whole, pitted dates
  • 24 toothpicks
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Lay a single-layer of bacon strips on a plate and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes (repeat with remaining bacon)
  3. Cut strips of bacon in half width-wise
  4. Wrap individual dates in half-strips of bacon, secure with toothpick at overlap
  5. Place on rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, checking at 8 minutes
  6. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!


Paleo On A Budget

March 5, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 25

Some people think that they can't eat Paleo because it costs too much money.  That is not true!  Here are two common misconceptions that often come out before one starts the Paleo lifestyle.

You can only eat the best [insert food here] when you eat Paleo.

False. First of all, there are no Ten Commandments of Paleo. Yes, there’s a basic template (no grains, legumes, dairy, artificial sugar, etc.), but it’s there to help you get started. "Paleo Police" are not going to show up at your door and confiscate all your conventionally grown bananas or non-cage free eggs. Don’t use this misconception as the reason why you reach for Doritos instead of a non-organic apple.

Yes, buying foods that are grown in a more sustainable, conscientious and ethical way is a great thing to shoot for if you can afford it, but don’t throw the grass-fed steak out with the bathwater.

Meat is too expensive compared with grains.

While this might be true in terms of actual dollars, it couldn’t be more false from nutrition standpoint. Gram for gram, meat and produce are far more nutrient-dense than grains or legumes.  A five-pound bag of wheat flour may be cheaper, but it’s not as nutritious as typical Paleo foods.

12 Tips For Eating Paleo On A Budget

  • Buy seasonal produce.
  • Shop at a farmer’s market.
  • Learn how to make homemade goods, such as almond milk/butter and ghee.
  • Grow your own produce, even if it’s fresh herbs on the windowsill of your apartment.
  • Look for sales—even stores such as Whole Foods put meat on sale from time to time.
  • For meats, if you can only afford grain-fed, buy lean cuts and trim the fat before cooking.
  • Use a vacuum sealer to prevent foods from losing freshness or getting freezer burned.
  • Limit Paleo baking or speciality ingredients. Nobody *needs* coconut aminos to survive.
  • Buy in bulk at stores such as Costco. I’ve even spotted big tubs of coconut oil there.
  • Limit how much you go out to eat.
  • Buy from the bulk bins at the health food market.
  • Purchase spices in bulk and make your own blends. It’s cheaper that way.


BACON!!!

March 5, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 24


Why are Grains Unhealthy?

March 4, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 23

So we all know that the Paleo "diet" cuts out grains, but do we know why grains are unhealthy.  Here is an article from Mark's Daily Apply (again) that gives an explanations of this.

Why Grains are Unhealthy


Metabolic Pathways

February 28, 2014

High intensity versus prolonged stress

With open workout number one in the bag, I would like to bring up some of the finer points of the training that everyone has been doing over the previoius cycle.  If you pay close attention to our WODs by themselves, and also happen to compare our programming to that of other gyms, you might have noticed that 90% of the time our workouts average around 12 minutes and that many other gyms often program much longer workouts spanning a half hour to 40 minutes.  Our WODs fall in this average by design, based on the idea that the body adapts better under certain metabolic pathways.  There are three major energy systems that the body uses to function; the phosphagen pathway, the glycolytic pathway, and the oxidative pathway.  Each of these uses its own complex metabolic processes to break down varying macronutrients into useable energy to do work, however we’re going to focus on the first two.

The phosphagen pathway applies to all your movements under ten seconds.  It is an explosive, forceful blast of energy reserves to accomplish high-powered activities.  Think Olympic lifts or a 40 yard dash.  This pathway provides a short intense burst of power, however it is also depleted quickly and requires more rest in between work intervals to replenish energy stores, which is why you wouldn’t attempt a one rep max clean and jerk three times in a row in under a minute.  I should also mention that this pathway is anaerobic, more on that later.

The other anaerobic pathway is the glycolytic pathway.  Again this metabolic system has its own specific steps to turn potential energy into kinetic energy, utilizing a completely different series of chemical reactions than the previously mentioned pathway.  I’ll include a link at the end of this article if you’re interested in the specifics.  More importantly, the glycolytic pathway functions during moderate-power activities.  The glycolytic pathway can be maintained for several minutes before a lactic threshold is reached and muscles begin to cramp and seize up.

The importance of these first two anaerobic pathways is that they foster an increase in power, speed, strength and muscle mass while simultaneously building cardiovascular capacity.  This is directly related to our WOD structure.  Most of our workouts are sharp, short, and strenuous by design to build the aforementioned qualities without adversely affecting the body.  Your training program should be built to make you a better athlete, not simply for the purpose of beating you up every day.  Doing Murph once a month or numerous other long, slogging workouts that reach into the aerobic oxidative pathway simply will not produce the same general physical preparedness as utilizing the anaerobic pathways.

If I had to take a guess I would say that most of the open workouts will be AMRAPS of 10 minutes or less, and they’re going to get you breathing hard.  In this sense many of our athletes will excel because this they’re used this kind of stimulus. In my opinion everyone did a phenomenal job this past saturday with 14.1.  Additionally, I have heard from many of our members who run 5K, 10K, half marathons, etcetera that they have dropped minutes from their record times utilizing a primarily Crossfit based training regimen.  By programming these predominantly anaerobic workouts, we’re building towards stronger, faster and healthier athletes at Crossfit Mount Laurel.

Biochem, yay!

 


New Warm-up Protocols

February 27, 2014

New Warm-up Protocols

I always laugh when Crossfit is dangerous articles start to make their loops around the interwebs.  Here, we have managed to run into very few injuries.  I think a big part of that has been focusing on form and mechanics right from the beginning.  The beginners class is a big part of that and I think another big part is that we have coaches that aren't scared to stop you mid workout to either fix your form or take weight off the bar.

 

The past few weeks I have been brainstorming about things we could improve at CFMTL and I kept coming back to the warm-ups.  I have gotten compliments on how our warm-ups are always geared to the work for the day, but I feel like we could do more.  When I talked to James, Dana, and Rob, we talked about the most complained about thing and we all agreed it was the shoulders.  I purchased the banded system on the wall a couple months ago to try and solve that problem.  I put about 15 people who had bad mobility or aches in the shoulders on a plan to use it every workout day before class (it takes about 6 minutes to use) and the results were pretty incredible.  We saw increased shoulder strength and PRs on things like the snatch, jerk, and pull-ups, and everyone reported absolutely zero aches or pains.

 

The program is based around activation drills.  I think this is so important because many of us are sedentary throughout the day.  We sit in compromised positions that turn off our imporant muscles.  Think about sitting all day in a chair, your glutes are doing absolutely nothing and over time may turn off or you may start to lose mobility in the area  Then when you try to deadlift without engaging you glutes or being able to get into the proper position, you put excess stress into the lower back.  This is how most injuries happen.  The drills also build up strength in the whole shoulder including the smaller muscles and stabilizers.

 

With that in mind, I started to figure out activation drills for the most important muscles in the body.  Areas such as the glutes, hamstrings, midline, and shoulders.  Our warm-ups are now going to change.  I have had a local welder make up pins for our rigs that will allow the bands to be used anywhere in the gym.  They look like this:

We will be using these bands 3x a week in the warm-ups.  There are charts with the exercises on them, so for the first few weeks we will walk everyone through the exercises then it should start to become second nature.  We have 10 pairs so you will be partnered up, 1 person will do 3 rounds of movements to get their heart rate up and prepare for the movements of the the day, while the other will do the banded work, then you will switch.

 

For the hips and glutes I have gotten a bunch of hip circle bands.  These will be used for monster squats (no more complaining the bands fall down on your legs) and for walking drills.  These really get the hips warmed up and ready for any kind of squatting movement.

We will be using other drills for the rest of the body.  You will see more Kang squats for the hamstrings, hollow rocks and hollow holds will always be involved as well.  My goal for this change is to properly warm-up the body, use activation drills to make sure muscles are firing correctly, and to reduce peoples aches and pains to nothing.

 

The warm-up will be a little bit longer now, but I think the benefits will be completely worth it.  If you have any questions, feel free to post below.  I am working on the next cycle for after the open now so I will be positing about it in a few weeks.

 

 


SLEEP

February 27, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 18

Sleep... Everyone loves it but it's rare that we get enough of it.

Here is an article again from Mark's Daily Apple that explains the importatnce of sleep.  This is one of the extra points that you can earn in this challenge and its a good one to focus on.

The Definitive Guide to Sleep


Paleo Snack Ideas

February 26, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 17

I know some of you have said you need something different for snacks because you are getting sick of the same thing every day.   Here is a link that has many different paleo snack ideas.

75 Paleo Snack Ideas

Note: Not all of these are challenge approved like the Larabars for example and cheese and yogurt.

Hopefully this will help a little.

Also, if there is anything you have questions about please let me know.  I'm sure you are not the only one with these questions and I can put a blog post up about it.

 


Top Questions You May Get Asked

February 25, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 16

Scoresheet

 

We are half way through, and hopefully you all are starting to embrace this new lifestyle. Here's an article I found that gives responses to just about every stupid and unintelligible question you will ever be asked about eating grain free.

 

Top 8 Most Common Reactions to Your Grain Free Diet & How to Respond


How Much Protein Should I Eat?

February 23, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 14

Another week down!!  I hope you all feel (now) as good as you are looking.  The first two weeks are the hardest for most so you should be able to just coast through this third week.

I keep stressing for you to eat more and to make sure you get enough protein.  Here is a good article from Mark's Daily Apple about how much protein you should be getting.

How much protein should you be eating?

 


Benefits of a Paleo Lifestyle

February 20, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 11

Scoresheet

Sorry I have been lacking with the posts.  I was not feeling weel the past two days but better now!!

Which of these benefits, or any others have you experienced so far in this challenge?


How To Eat Out And Stay Paleo

February 17, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 8

Scoresheet

Paleo Potluck Sunday at 2pm!!

Eating Out

It is possible to follow the Paleo diet while still eating out. There are just a few guidelines that are easy to follow.

  • Don't be afraid to ask

    • Don't be afraid to ask how something is cooked. This is the lifestyle you have chosen and your health that is on the line. So in comparison, it is not a big deal to ask if that chicken on the salad is breaded. (It is okay to ask questions, but no need to turn into the Paleo police. You can't control what happens back in the kitchen. Chances are your meat is being cooked in some kind of vegetable oil or oil blend. You just have to realize that you are making the best out of the situation. A steak, carrots, and broccoli that is cooked with vegetable oil is still a lot better than a bowl of fettuccine Alfredo.)

  • Make Substitutions

    • If a entree comes with a side of rice and corn, don't be afraid to ask them to substitute the rice and corn with broccoli and roasted vegetables. Or order your burger without the bun and cheese from the beginning. Don't create temptations.

  • Don't make it harder on yourself

    • Tell the waiter at the beginning of the meal, not to bring out the chips and salsa or bread basket. Order your fajitas without the shells, and don't even have them bring the shells to the table.  

  • Be careful of sauces and salad dressings

    • Most dressings are made with bad fats and sugars. Your best bet is to order balsamic vinegar and olive oil on the side. Also beware of any sauces on your meat or vegetables, many probably contain vegetable oils, creams, or sugars.

  • Enjoy Yourself

    • Most of the time we go out to eat to relax or to celebrate something.  Don't make a stressful situation out of something good. Remember the 80/20 principle. As long as you eat well 80% of the time, when you go out to eat will probably be considered the 20%.

There are many places around here to eat out at and easy to stay Paleo while eating there. Here's just some of my favorites.

  • Elevation Burger

    • The ground beef is grass fed and cooked in olive oil.  You also have the option to order your hamburger in a lettuce wrap.

  • Diners

    • It's easy to order an omelette with some vegetables and some bacon at nearly any diner.

  • Seasons 52

    • They base their menu off of what is in season. A lot of fresh vegetables and meats.

  • Chipotle

    • If you're looking for a quick bite to eat that isn't too bad, any of the Mexican fast food restaurants (Qdoba, Chipotle, or Panchero's) are decent options. You can order burrito bowls which have everything that is in a burrito, but without the tortilla. Just be sure to order without rice or beans. Instead ask for extra meat and get a side of some guacamole.

  • Bobby’s Burger Palace

    • Here you can order your burger “topless” which means it’s served without a bun on top of a mixed greens salad.  

If you have another other “paleo-friendly” places please post when posting your points.  I know I always like to try new places.


Clinics and the Open

February 16, 2014

Clinics and the Open

We are getting our clinic schedule back online!  Thanks for being patient with the new website and all (even though I am still working with them to fix a lot of things).

 

For the clinics, we are going to change the format.  The clinics are going to be capped at 6 people and are an hour long.  We are going to be more strict on registration.  The clinics are now open for registration, there will be 6 spots and a waiting list.  You can cancel up to 24 hours before the clinics.  Whatever 6 names are on the list 24 hours before the clinic, are the 6 that will be charged regardless on whether or not you show.  I hate to be that way, but if you are taking a spot from someone else and don't use it then that really sucks.

 

The clinics will cost $15.  If you are an unlimited member, you get 50% off clinics.  We decided not to do free clinics because we want to offer personal coaching in a small group and a free price tag would not do that justice.  Since the clinics are now capped at 6 people, they will be much more specific in their scope.  We have decided to start with a small clinic schedule as a test run and see how it goes.

 

Saturday, February 22nd at 12 PM - Tommy

Muscle-up Technique

This clinic is for athletes who already have at least 1 muscle-up.  The clinic will focus on utilizing proper positioning and body mechanics to string together multiple muscle-ups without a false-grip.  It will also focus on cleaning up any inefficiencies in your current muscle-up.

Prereq: 1 Muscle-up

 

Wednesday, February 26th at 8:30 PM - Rob

Getting your First Muscle-up

This clinic is for athletes who cannot yet complete a muscle-up.  The hour will be based on drills and techniques to help you learn the different elements of a muscle-up and to help you build up the strength and body positioning necessary to complete one.

Prereq: 5 Strict Pullups, 1 Strict Ring Rip

 

Tuesday, March 4th at 7:30 PM with Dana P.

Improving your Handstand Pushup

This clinic will go into a high level of detail on the Handstand Pushup.  This includes hand position, kipping mechanics, and body position.  The drills included will help you to take away mats on your HSPU or to string together more in 1 shot.

Prereq: Kick into the wall consistently

 

Thursday, March 6 at 6:30 PM with James

Learn to Butterfly Pull-up

This clinic will focus on the basics of the butterfly pull-up.  The goal of the clinic is to get each athlete to understand the proper setup and positions and hopefully be able to do them.  The butterfly pull-up involves a lot of repitition and practice, so this clinic's main goal is to get each person to understand where they need to be.

Prereq: 8 Kipping Pullups

 

The first Open workout will be announced February 27th.  If you have not yet signed up and would like to input your scores, you should sign up at www.crossfit.com.  Everyone that comes in to workout on Saturday will be completing the open workout.

For programming we had decided to keep the usual Thursday and Sunday off days.  I will be programming Monday through Weds (and Thurs for those that need to come in then).  I will not make up Friday's workout until the open workout for Saturday is announced on Thurs.   The schedule will loosely follow this template:

Monday: Heavy Squats - High Intensity Workout

Tuesday: Medium Oly lift - Medium to High Intensity Workout

Weds: Medium Oly lift - Light to Medium Workout

Thurs: OFF for those serious about the open

Friday: Light Lift - Light to Medium Intensity Workout

Sat: Open Workout

 

What if my goal doesn't involve the open?  Will these lighter days affect my results?  I am sure I will get this question so lets attack it now.  Even for those that don't care about the open, it is usually an eye opener.  The atmosphere we create on Saturday is electric, plus you don't have to count your reps!!!  This ebb and flow of intensity will allow you to recover day to day and then on Saturday you will find out what it means to truly push yourself.  If you eat well in conjuction with this schedule, I think you will see better results just from simply learning how hard you can actually push.

 

How are we doing the open here?  We will be doing the open workout on Saturdays.  Instead of doing regular class times on Saturday.  We will be setting up time slots that you MUST reserve for.  The time slot (they will still encompass the 7 AM to Noon time frame) will be for a set number of athletes and will run at a set time (times will all depends on the workout).  We will be setting up a caution taped off area each Saturday.  This means if you sign up for the 9:15 AM time slot.  You will come in around 8:45 to stretch and warm-up.  When 9:15 rolls arounds, your names will be called.  You will step into the workout area and there you will already have your equipment set-up and a judge (don't worry it will be one of your friends).  All you will be in charge of is to bust your ass.  I am hoping everyone will hang out to cheer each other on after their workout, this way it will be just as fun and electric as it has been in years past.  I know this is different than how we ran it the past 2 years but I think this way will be better with the number of athletes we have doing the workout. 

*If you cannot do the workout on Saturday, we may set up 1 time slot on Friday night for that group, so let me know.

 

 


Carb Flu

February 16, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 7

Scoresheet

Just finished going through your food blogs for the week.  One of the common trends I saw was not eating enough.  Make sure you eat and get your protein.  This is going to be your source of energy.  On the paleo diet you should not be concerned with quantity - it's all about the quality.

CARB-FLU

Some of you have said that you are experiencing fatigue and bloating. Many people in the Paleo community like to refer to this as carb-flu.  Carbs and sugar are made of glucose, which is easy for our body to use as energy (but also easy to store as fat).  The goal that we are trying to get our bodies to accomplish is to turn fats and proteins into glucose to use as energy. This process is a little more complex, but our bodies are completely capable. During these first couple of weeks you may experience carb-flu while waiting for our body to get up to speed. Overall, this process will take time and everyone's body is different. There is no solid diet (I mean 'lifestyle") that will work for everyone. Experiment with eating more protein or including some starches, such as sweet potatoes into your diet. Here's an article from Mark's Daily Apple, that goes a little more in depth on the carb-flu.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/low-carb-flu/#axzz1shPxU8Lv

"As any Primal buff would attest, this temporary setback pales in comparison to the benefits once the transition has passed. Without the persistent carb-induced peaks and crashes, you should enjoy a measurable boost in energy – steady and stable – in no time."

 

PALEO POTLUCK

The Paleo Potluck will be this coming Sunday, February 23rd at 2pm.  All are welcome - even if you are not doing the paleo challenge.  We just ask that you bring a delicious paleo treat with you and the recipe to share with all.  I put a sign-up sheet in the lobby on the "Events Board" and in the gym area where the WOD is written.  This is just so I can get get an idea of how many of you will be attending and what you plan on bringing.  Spread the word!!

 


Happy Valentine's Day!

February 13, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 5

Scoresheet

As I was searching the internet for some Valentine's Day Paleo Recipes for meals, I kept getting sidetracked by all of the amazing looking deserts.  Just as the desserts distracted me, don't let the temptations takeover while you are out having a romantic dinner.

Here is one of the desserts that I couldn't stop looking at:

Triple Chocolate Trifle

If anyone is going to make this, I will most definitely be your valentine for the day!

 

 

 I know some people have mentioned they were having trouble entering in their food in the white space provided.  I checked all who have mentioned it to me and it was able to work.  Make sure you are clicking in the white area before you start typing.  If it still isn't working, just send me an email.  Also, I don't know what happened to the arrows at the bottom to move the tabs over but if you click on the three little lines next to the taps you will get a scroll menu of all of your names.  you can use this to get to your spreadsheet.

 


Snow Day Challenges

February 13, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 4

Scoresheet

Hope you all enjoyed your snow day.  Today was probably the first big challenge for many of you.  I know on days like today you just want to stay inside, under the covers, and drink some wine and snack on some non-paleo foods.  Here is a delicious paleo snack that Desiree post on the CFMTL Paleo facebook page.   I used strawberries instead of bananas (bananas contain a lot of natural sugar where berries contain a little less).

Banana Ice Cream

2 – 3 Frozen Bananas (Cut into pieces before freezing)
1/4 Cup Coconut Milk
2 Tbsp. Almond Butter

 

Using a food processor, puree the bananas until they’re broken up into tiny pieces. Add the coconut milk and blend until smooth. Add the almond butter and chocolate chips, blend until incorporated evenly. 

This recipe is from Paleo Kitchen Sync.

I hope you were all able to overcome these temptations and tough it out.  It does get easier...I promise!!  See you all back in the gym tomorrow!!  PLEASE NO MORE SNOW!!


I Miss My Snacks

February 12, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 3

SNACKING

After talking with many of you, I am finding that you are all struggling with one of the things that I find to be most difficult when starting to eat Paleo and that is SNACKING.  Other than nuts, what is there to snack on (especially since I took all of the bars away from you).  

Well first, for example, no one ever said breakfast foods only had to be eaten at breakfast so if you need a snack and you have some leftovers why not snack on some steak or chicken.  You need the protein!

Then there is the obvious, vegetables and fruits.  You can always try a cucumber, grape tomato, and onion mixture with some balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil dressing or apple slices with almond butter.  While these are on the simpler side, you can always try to prepare something like the following recipe for deviled eggs at the beginning of the week to last you all week.

First here's the recipe for the guacamole:

Guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocados

  • 1 small onion (yellow or red, your choice)

  • 2-3 cloves of garlic

  • half a lemon

  • 1 tomato

  • 1 jalapeno

  • salt and pepper

Peel the avocados and put them in the food processor with the onion, garlic cloves, juice of the lemon, and jalapeno. Pulse until the mixture becomes a creamy paste.  Pour into a bowl and stir in the salt and pepper. Dice the tomato into small pieces and stir into the guacamole.

If you don't have a food processor and have to prepare the guacamole by hand, mince the garlic, onions, and jalapeno by hand, mash the avocados with a fork, then add the vegetables into the mix.

This recipe is very simple and can be used as a dip for vegetables or it can also be put on grilled chicken to act as a sauce (instead of bbq sauce or ketchup).

 

Deviled Eggs

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Put you desired amount of eggs in a saucepan and add water just so the tops of the eggs are covered. Turn the stove to medium-high heat and wait for the water to boil. Once it begins to boil, turn it down to medium-low heat, so that it is simmering (small bubbles). Let the eggs simmer for 10-15 minutes.

When the eggs cool, peel the shells and discard them. Cut each egg in half and remove the yolk into a bowl. Continue to make you guacamole , but add the yolks into the mixture at the same time you add the onion, avocados, and garlic. Spoon the guacamole mixture into the egg halves. Top with bacon bits, because everything is better with bacon.

 


These eggs are a good source of a lot of all the good fats. Like I mentioned before, if you have extra guacamole, it is really good with chicken or steak. (especially if you're already starting to miss ketchup)

When you post your points today under the comments section, also if you have any snack ideas, post them as well.

 


Februay 10, 2014

February 10, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 1

Scoresheet

Why am I drinking so much water for this challenge?

It's only day 1 and I already heard MANY of you saying “I am peeing so much drinking all of this water” or “I woke up twice last night to go to the bathroom.”  I know in the beginning of the last paleo challenge I felt the same but by the end I noticed that I wasn’t getting nearly enough water before.  It made a huge difference not only with how I felt during my workouts but how I felt throughout the day as well.  So I am going to take this time to explain why you are drinking so much water

By the time you experience the sensation of thirst, you are already dehydrated. That thirst is your body calling for re-hydration.  When dehydrated, you are affecting the performance of majority of your body.  Nearly all of our systems do not function as well without the proper water intake.  

The digestive system needs water to function properly. Because waste is flushed out in the form of urine and sweat, if one does not drink enough water, the waste collects in the body causing problems.  Water is also essential for the proper circulation of nutrients in the body.  

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Another benefit to drinking enough water is that it can reduce pain in your joints by keeping the cartilage soft and hydrated.  Proper hydration contributes to increased athletic performance.  Water composes about 75% of our muscle tissue, therefore dehydration can lead to weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and electrolyte imbalance.

Many of you are also curious as to how drinking this much water will help with weight lose and not have you retain water weight.  First, sometimes we think we are hungry, when actually we are thirsty.  Our body just starts turning on all the alarms when we ignore it so staying hydrated can serve as an appetite suppressant and help with weight loss.  Also, it has been found that after drinking water, one’s metabolic rate increases (this is the rate at which calories are burned) which also aids in shedding some pounds.

Next, surprisingly enough, not drinking enough water plays a role in water retention.  Water helps your liver convert fat into usable energy.  If you do not drink enough, your kidneys are overwhelmed with concentrated fluids and will make your liver do extra work.  Your liver works hard to turn body fat into the energy that you use but if it has to do the kidney's work then it simply holds onto the extra fat that would have been burned off if you simply had enough water.  

What's worse is that instead of excreting water and waste products, your body retains existing water to reuse.  This is what causes water retention and bloating.  When you do not get enough water, your body goes into panic mode and holds on to it selfishly as if  you were in a famine.  Dehydration can make you look bloated and fat instead of thin and taut.  The best way to get rid of this water retention is to drink enough of it to return your body and its processes back to a normal equilibrium.

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Last, I know water can get boring and sometimes you may need a little flavor.  Try adding flavor with additives such as slices of fresh citrus fruit (lemon, lime, oranges) or I know cucumbers also work well.  And one more thing, the water intake is supposed to be throughout the day, not all at one time.

 


Why Fish Oil?

February 9, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 2

Scoresheet

The Benefits of Fish Oil

The benefits of fish oil come from the omega-3 fatty acids that it contains.  There are two forms of omega-3 fatty acids - eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  EPA is known for regulating inflammatory process and DHA is known especially for central nervous system support (the brain and spinal cord).  Your body cannot produce these fatty acids so you must get them from the food you eat, or via supplementation.

Inflammation is a common component in almost all diseases. EPA, as a regulator of inflammation, can help in controlling these processes. Fish oil is not a cure, but it will aid in reducing flare ups and fighting the progression of disease.  DHA is a major supporter of central nervous system health and is the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid in the brain. By supplementing DHA, you are improving brain function.

 

Fish Oil Brands

When purchasing fish oil, look at the EPA and DHA amounts per serving. This is more important than the “total fish oil” amount.  A concentrated source means you have to take fewer pills or teaspoons a day – it is more efficient, and makes it more likely that you’ll actually take your recommended dose each day.  Fish oil should be stored in a cool, dark place.  Your refrigerator is the ideal location, especially in summer.  If your pills don’t have a dark capsule coating and/or come in a light colored bottle, this is especially important. The brand pictured below is what we carry at CFMTL.

PurePharma Fish OilDosage

The general recommendation is to aim for around 2-4 grams of EPA/DHA per day.  However, if you eat lots of grass-fed beef and other natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and generally avoid sources of omega-6 (like vegetable oils, factory-farmed meat, nuts and seeds), you may not need as much supplementation.  

It is important to always take fish oil with meals.  This reduces the chance of an upset stomach or “fish burps”.  Think about sandwiching your fish oil inside a meal – one bite of food, then your fish oil, followed by the rest of our meal.  You may also want to split your dose up throughout the day.  Finally, if you are new to fish oil, ramp up to your recommended dose slowly.


PALEO CHALLENGE STARTS TOMORROW!!!!

February 9, 2014

Day 1 of the Paleo Challenge is upon us.

Day 1 of the Paleo Challenge is upon us.  I know many of you are quite nervous about this lifestyle change so I am going to try to make this transition as easy as possible for you.  I will have a blog post everyday - some days may be some helpful information, others may just be a recipe.  Please ask questions and let me know if there is anything you want more information on and I will write about it because I am sure you won’t be the only one with these questions or concerns.  One important thing I really want you all to do is to stick with it.  The first week or two may be a little challenging but stick it out because in the end it is all worth it.  

 

Here is the link to the Scoresheet:

Scoresheet

Remember, just answer “yes” next to what applies to you and it will update automatically.  You should each have a tab along the bottom (alphabetical order by first name).

 

I overheard many of you talking today about heading to the grocery store.  Here is a detailed shopping list from Mark’s Daily Apple that should be some help.

Shopping List

 

Some Helpful Tips

  • For breakfast, make an easy omelet. Sauté onion, peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli in olive oil; add omega-3-enriched or free-range eggs and diced turkey or chicken breast.

  • Paleo lunches are easy. At the beginning of the week, make a huge salad with anything you like. A good starting point can be mixed greens, spinach, radishes, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, avocados, walnuts, almonds and sliced apples or pears. Store the salad in a large sealable container. Each morning prepare a single serving from the large batch and then mix in meat (ground beef, beef slices, chicken, turkey) or seafood of choice (salmon, shrimp, tuna, or any fresh fish or seafood). Toss with olive oil and vinegar and you are set.

  • For dinner, try spaghetti squash as a substitute for any pasta recipe. Top with pesto, marinara and meatballs.

  • Berries and other succulent fruits make a great dessert. Pre-cut carrot and celery sticks, sliced fruit, and pre-portioned raw nut/dried fruit mixes are easy snacks.

 

Recipe and Resource Websites

www.marksdailyapple.com

www.nomnompaleo.com

www.paleoomg.com

http://everydaypaleo.com

http://paleomagonline.com


February 2014 30 Day Paleo Challenge

February 5, 2014

It’s that time of year again…New Years Resolution time and the Reebok Crossfit Open is just upon us. While we think that it’s best to go after your goals all of the time, I also know that many of us (myself included) use markers like the beginning of the year to try and kick start a change. Many of you have approached me at the gym unsure if Paleo is right for you. “I NEED cream in my coffee!” “How am I going to go without cheese.” It’s really not that hard. Here is a brief overview of what Paleo is to help you decide if the challenge is right for you.

It’s that time of year again…New Years Resolution time and the Reebok Crossfit Open is just upon us.  While we think that it’s best to go after your goals all of the time, I also know that many of us (myself included) use markers like the beginning of the year to try and kick start a change. Many of you have approached me at the gym unsure if Paleo is right for you.  “I NEED cream in my coffee!”  “How am I going to go without cheese.”  It’s really not that hard.  Here is a brief overview of what Paleo is to help you decide if the challenge is right for you.

Paleo

First, I want you to think of this as a “lifestyle” not a diet.  Also, it is time to say goodbye to refined sugar, dairy, legumes, and grains and hello to meat, fish, poultry, fruits, nuts and veggies.

Why no grains?  Grains are composed of carbohydrates, and those carbs are turned into glucose (a type of sugar) in our system to be used for energy and various other tasks to help our body function.  Any glucose that isn’t used as energy is stored as fat.

The Paleo Diet also almost completely erases sugar from our diets. Unless you are getting your sugar from a fruit, don’t eat it.  Sugar causes an energy spike and crash in your system, turns to fat (unless it’s used immediately), and is just overall bad for our bodies.

If we are not eating carbs every day, how do we get our energy?  Our bodies are designed to operate on a lower amount of carbohydrates than what we are used to eating, therefore, less carbs is not an issue.  When there is an absence of carbs (which is how our bodies are supposed to be operating), our bodies will take stored fat and burn that for our source of energy.  Less carbs equals less glucose in our systems which means our bodies will have to start burning fat as its fuel source.

 

Not all carbohydrates are bad.  Carbs still serve a purpose in our diets, but they are not essential.  Carbs from vegetables, sweet potatoes, and fruit are okay because these foods do not need to be processed in any way (unlike grains) in order to be consumed.

What can you eat?  

 

The Challenge

Start Date: Monday, February 10th

End Date: Tuesday, March 11th

Buy-in: $30 (goes towards running the challenge and the prizes which will be announced next week)

On Sunday, February 9th at 11am we will hold a kick-off meeting/Q&A session which will outline the challenge – point system, foods that are allowed and not allowed, etc.  We will also perform a test workout and take your before measurements.  If you are unable to make this, I ask that you perform the pre-workout one day this week or the beginning of next week in class and we will get your measurements when I see you.  The other guys will know the deal so just ask them if I am not around.

I would like each of you to visit the website below and fill out the form before Wednesday, February 12th.  The questions in this form will help me keep you all on track to reach your goals.  This is also where you will be posting your before photos.  You will be responsible for taking your own photos so we do not have to awkwardly do this at the gym.  For the photos, I would like you to take 3 – one from the front, side and back.  Girls – sports bra and spandex, Guys – shirts off and shorts.  These photos will help determine one of the winners.  (I will be the ONLY one seeing these).

https://cfmtlpaleo.wufoo.com/forms/before-challenge-questionaire/

Point System:

  • Your Food Points are earned as follows:

    • 3 Points = Ate clean all day! Had lean protein + veggies/fruits + healthy fats with each meal, avoided grains and gluten products, avoided refined sugars.

    • 1 Point = 1 Item Off List – Had croutons on my salad, my eggs in a wrap, a candy bar snack, etc.

    • 0 Points = 1 Full Cheat Meal – Sandwich with soda, pizza and beer, bagel with cream cheese, etc.

    • -3 Points = More than 1 Cheat Meal

  • Your bonus points are as follows:

    • 1 Point = Fish Oil – Took 3 grams of EPA/DHA in fish oil.

    • 1 Point = Sleep – 7 solid hours on a regular schedule.

    • 1 Point = Active recovery – 15 minutes with a foam roller or a lacrosse ball or some other tools working on myo-fascial release and mobility, or…practicing meditation or yoga.

    • 1 Point = Hydration – Drank ½ oz of water per lb of bodyweight.

    • 1 Point = Workout

You can earn 8 points total in one day.  I will have a write-up each day on the blog where you will post your points for the day, your total, and what you ate throughout that day.  You can also use this blog and/or the CFMTL Paleo facebook group (let me know if you need access to this) to post recipes and/or questions that you would like to share.

Extra Information

I would also like to host a Paleo Pot Luck at the gym on Sunday February 23rd at 2pm.  I will have more information on this as we get closer to the date.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail me at danap@crossfitmtl.com

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s transformations.  I recommend beginning now to prepare by ridding your kitchen of things that are off the list, making sure your kitchen is ready to prepare and store food, maybe looking into nearby restaurants and take out spots that can be a part of your challenge.


Good Luck guys!!