You are hereMarch 2011
I bet Corrie doesn't have any tendon issues
(Thanks to Michael G for passing along this article.)
The title of this blog post, "Motion is Lotion," comes to us from the one and only K-Star, CF coach and physical therapist extraordinaire. It seems that a number of researchers are coming to the exact same conclusion as well, namely that moving is the best therapy of all.
In a recent article in the NY Times titled For Tendon Pain, Think Beyond the Needle, researchers looked at two common prescriptions for tendon injuries: 1) corticosteroid injections into the injured tendon and 2) resting the injured joint (in effect, doing nothing). Neither one panned out and neither contributed much, if anything, to the recovery process (the shot provided short-term relief but didn't do anything to affect the long-term outcome and the do-nothing approach lived up to its billing, it did nothing).
The best remedy for aching joints and tendons turns out to be K-Star's refrain, as summarized in the last paragraph of the article (this was in reference to the shoulder joint, specifically):
“The stronger the shoulder muscles are when the tendinopathy calms down, the better shape the shoulder is in to take over movement without further injury,” Dr. Moffat said. “You don’t want the muscles to weaken, which is what happens when you rest and do nothing. That leaves you vulnerable to further injury.”
So next time you're feeling a little dinged up, find a resistance band, a foam roller, and a light dumbbell (or iron plate) and get to work. Put the muscles through some range of motion (don't go crazy, just get the blood flowing) and speed up your recovery.
Recent Robb Wolf sighting at CFO
Hello fellow Cave-Cats & Cave-Kittens! How's it going? 6 weeks is no joke, eh? Feeling all isolated and alone like you are the only freaky-eater on the planet?
Well, you aren't. Check out last night's Nightline piece on eating like our paleolithic ancestors. If you are still hanging in there and need a little inspiration, you can pick up Robb's book for pretty cheap on Amazon. I finally clued in and am reading it right now. I have to say I thought I pretty much knew it all about diet and exercise the cave-way, but I am learning a ton from Robb's book and laughing the entire time -- who knew geeks could be so amusing? I was especially stuck by the chapter on sleep and how easily we can undo all of our hard-won exercise and nutrition gains simply by not getting good, solid sleep.
Post paleolithic musings to comments and hang in there -- only 9 more days!
Sarah showing off some of her newly acquired muscle
Beginning Monday, March 7, we'll be changing from a 3-on, 1-off workout cycle to a weekly cycle of 3-on, 1-off, 2-on, 1-off.
This means we'll program workouts as follows:
(The first three days are exactly the same way we currently do it)
Saturday: Strength/Metcon or Metcon or Benchmark
Sunday: Rest Day
Rest days will fall on a fixed schedule of Thursdays and Sundays. This doesn't mean the gym is closed, though. Rest days will continue to function just as they currently do, meaning you can use rest days to make up a previous WOD, work on skills/weaknesses, do alternative WODs, or just work on some good ol' fashioned recovery.
This new cycle will also allow for some flexibility heading into the CF Games Open Sectional.
Lydia bench pressing at the recent CrossFit Pleasanton Power Lifting Meet
The mainstay of weight rooms throughout the country is the venerable bench press. During my trip to Bakersfield, from which I came back a little more than two hours ago to write this little post, I managed to go to a 24 Hour Fitness to work out. While I saw no one there performing anything that could be confused with a squat or a deadlift, I did see lots of bench pressing, some of it done very strongly.
Let's review a few main points of the lift, the first being that you lie down on a bench while you do it. For this reason, bench pressing gets criticized as not being the most functional exercise and, let's be honest, there's some truth to that claim. Let's also be honest, if you could easily bench press 350 pounds for multiple repetitions, you probably wouldn't be too upset about it, "functionality" be damned. A strong bench press is just that - a display of strength - and being strong is fun.
Of primary importance in the bench press is muscular tension. The more muscles in the body undergoing isometric contraction (where the muscles contract, but do not change in length), the better. This helps to provide a stable platform from which to raise and lower the weight. The breath should be held using the Valsalva Maneuver during the lift, with breathing happening only at the top when the arms are fully extended. This further helps to stabilize the lift. Exhaling or inhaling while the bar is in motion will ensure that you do not move as much weight as you can.
The bar should be lowered under control to the chest before being pressed back up to a fully extended position. To borrow Mark Rippetoe's analogy, you should lower the bar as if there were a plate of glass on your chest that you need to touch without breaking. The popular sport of violently bouncing the bar off the sternum and relying on the elastic rebound of the ribcage to propel the weight upward should be relegated to the same scrap heap as bouncing deadlifts off the ground. Both are to be avoided.
Rear ends need to stay on the bench during the lift, both for the sake of stability and to keep the bench press from becoming a decline bench press. By raising the butt off of the bench, a lifter obtains a slight mechanical advantage and makes use of some extra musculature. While this is not necessarily dangerous, it helps to have some sort of standard by which the movement is judged and the butt leaving the bench will earn a "no lift" from every powerlifting federation in existence - all 7,000 of them.
Before we go, it is important to note that not everyone needs to bench press. Those with shoulder injuries should probably look elsewhere to avoid further problems. The bench can be hard on the shoulder, especially if trained to excess, or if trained without the balance provided by the shoulder press. That being said, for those with healthy shoulders, the bench press is wonderful exercise for building upper body strength and might be indicative of your long term survival chances.
The Paleo challenge can present many challenges. Like, figuring out what to say when you get those funny looks from your friends, family and co-workers regarding your Paleolithic food choices. Isn't it ironic that if you slam a bag of Doritos and Skittles nobody bats an eyelash but if you order your breakfast sans toast the whole world collapses around you! Here are some responses from Kevin Gianni of the Renegade Health Show.
1. “It’s an experiment, I have no idea how it will end up.”
Even though you know more about diet than Dr. Oz, sometimes it’s best to pretend you’re completely green to the subject. Saying your current diet is an experiment will help pass the responsibility off of you and you won’t have to explain yourself.
Everyone’s experimented before, so they’ll surely understand.
2. “I’m allergic to…”
You can say just about anything here -– I’m allergic to meat, butter, milk, Cheeze-Its, anything-in-a-box, etc.
No one questions allergies since they can be so serious, so why not use them to your advantage to deflect the diet questions.
3. “I don’t know, it’s probably just a fad.”
Admitting you’re a follower -– even though you’re not -– will actually help you here. Most people know fads come and go, so when you tell them your diet is a fad, they’ll figure you’ll be done with it in a few weeks, just like their stint on the Atkins Diet.
So, now that we're well in to the challenge and you've had some time to perfect your script, share how you respond to the curios cats in your life? Post responses to comments.
And finally, I'm happy to announce that our beloved friend, coconut oil has finally been acknowledged as the health food that it is (and has always been)! First, Dr. Oz dedicates an entire episode to coconut oil and then last week this article appeared in the NY Times.
Monika made it 3 feet from the top on her very first rope climb attempt!
More evidence that exercise keeps you young was published last week. Mice that exercised three times a week for 45 minutes showed nearly no effect of aging, whereas the mice that did not exercise were bald, weak, and dying 8 months into the study.
We actually have some non-scientific evidence of the benefits of exercise on the mature client at our gym. Some of you may remember the "Seniors" class we used to have at CFO. All of those participates have gotten so much stronger and faster, that we actually had to change the name of the class--"seniors" just wasn't an accurate description anymore. Even our younger members seem much younger than they really are.
To read the complete article "Can Exercise keep You Young" from the New York Times Well Blog, click here.
How has regular exercise affected you? Post thoughts to comments.
Brandon at the bottom of a kipping pull-up
We're excited to offer two kipping pull-up clinics this Saturday, March 12. Each of them is an hour, and both will be coached by pull-up gurus Moses Matlin and Tamara Holmes.
The first clinic, from 12pm to 1pm, will cover the traditional kipping pull-up. In order to participate in this clinic, you need to at least get your chin over the bar with a dead-hang pull-up. This clinic is specifically geared toward individuals who already have the strength to do pull-ups but struggle with the kipping motion or with stringing kipping pull-ups together. The cost for the seminar is $20.
The second clinic, from 1pm to 2pm, will cover the butterfly kip. You have to be proficient in the traditional kipping pull-up (i.e., you must be able to string multiple kipping pull-ups together) to participate in this clinic. The cost for this seminar is also $20.
To register for either seminar, go here: http://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ws.asp?studioid=8840&stype=-8
These seminars are going to be capped at 10 people, so be sure and register soon if you want to reserve a spot.
Dave K, and his shorts, doing a hill sprint in the lead-up to last year's CF Games
(photo courtesy of TomC)
In case you didn't hear, registration for the CF Games Open Sectional is now live. Tonight's post is going to cover just a few high-level points. Part 2 will go into way more detail and will include an FAQ.
Here's what you need to know right now:
- We'll be hosting all six of the workouts, and anyone from our gym or another (or not part of a gym) is welcome to join us.
- If you're from CFO and are competing in the Sectionals (and really, why shouldn't you?), make sure that you register as part of Team CFO. There are a couple of CrossFit Oakland gyms on the registration site, but you want to make sure you attach yourself to the one that lists Tamara Holmes as the Team Captain. You can find that page here: games.crossfit.com/athletes/teams/crossfit-oakland-0
- You want to make sure you register as part of Team CFO so that your score will count toward our team score and so that we can be in the running for most participating athletes.
- Workouts will be released every Tuesday night, beginning on Tuesday, March 15.
- Every Thursday at 6pm at CFO, we'll be doing a walkthrough of the workout for all who will be competing on Saturday. We'll be covering everything from standards to strategy for the workout.
- Every Saturday, beginning at 11:30am, we'll be running people through the workout in heats, and won't leave until everyone gets their workout in.
- We'll also provide the opportunity for everyone who can't compete on Saturday to do the workout during the week or on Sunday. Just make sure to email us at email@example.com if you won't be able to compete on Saturday.
- Besides registering on the CF Games site, you need to register with us as well, so that we know who will be competing and can place you in heats. You can do that here: clients.mindbodyonline.com/ws.asp
That's it for now. Go and get registered. The fun begins in one week!
Tami and Tom S sharing a laugh over the fact that neither has gotten a CFO athlete profile
Well the day has almost arrived. After tomorrow (Thu Mar 10), the Paleo Challenge will officially be done with. We'll have a lot more to say about this in our wrap-up post on Sunday, but for now here are the take-home points:
- The Paleo Challenge ends Thursday, March 10 at midnight.
- The Paleo Challenge workout will be Saturday, March 12 at 11am. If you can't make it on Saturday, feel free to do the workout on Thursday or Friday. Thursday would be ideal since it's a rest day.
- The current Paleo Challenge workout standings will be posted to this blog Friday night.
- The overall male winner and female winner will be evaluated based on a formula that takes into account how they fared on the two workouts and how much improvement they showed from workout 1 to workout 2.
All for now. Congratulations to everyone who's made it this far!
*** ANNOUNCEMENT: PULL-UP Clinic this Saturday (Mar 12th) WILL BE CONSOLIDATED into a 1-HOUR CLINIC for both the Traditional Kip and Butterfly clinics. If you are signed up for the Butterfly clinic at 1pm, please come in at Noon instead. You will get lots of attention from our 2 fabulous coaches!***
This one (stolen from her FB page) truly captures Miss Maia's beauty
One word comes to mind when considering this week's Athlete Spotlight, Maia. That word is delightful. She really is. If you've had the pleasure to meet her, you will know exactly what I mean. If you have not had the pleasure, I would find a way to be around before, during, or after an Elements class -- you won't be sorry.
Maia is literally always smiling. She never lets anything get her down and it is absolutely infectious. She brings joy, laughter and a bright light with her when she enters a room. She is always cheering with her characteristic "Yay! *hand clap*" anytime her classmates make a lift or achieve a coveted milestone. Speaking of her classmates, they include her parents and in-law family members. And they all actually get along and have a great time together.
As an athlete, Maia continues to make gains that even surprise her, including pull-ups, which had her beaming for weeks! She is strong, beautiful, positive and just an all-around lovely person. Even fellow Elements buddy, Louise, recognizes how special Maia is, as evidenced in this column from last Sunday's Chronicle (you might recognize that guy sitting next to her in the photos). In my book, Maia makes the ideal fairy-princess, except this one needs no rescuing -- she is quite capable of taking care of herself.
Post thoughts on Maia to comments.
Name: Maia Small
Age: 25 years old (until Friday)
Q: How long have you been a member at CFO?
A: I finally joined in June 2010 after being recruited by David and his family, all who had been members for a few years already. After hearing them chatter about CrossFit for so long and telling me about Elements, I became the first younger person to infiltrate the class. And they smoked me like cheap crack. :)
Q: What is your day job?
A: I'm actually on the hunt for a job in Public Health, specifically in Reproductive Health. My last job was running a program for the Bureau of Prisons for all the pregnant inmates in the western region of the US.
Q: What is your athletic background?
A: Oh god...I've joined a lot of gyms and exercised here and there for a couple months at a time but never enjoyed it. It was always a chore. I would go alone and had no accountability. I never did anything I considered sustainable until CrossFit came into my life...awwwww!!! Now I'm here three days a week and having so much fun! I never thought that would be possible.
Q: What is your favorite strength move?
A: I like power cleans for some reason...maybe because it was such a challenge to figure it out and get it to work. They're super hard but it feels great to do them well. I also have had dreams about doing Bench Press...so that must mean I like that too :)
Q: What is your favorite met-con?
A: Robyn, what's met con?? Is that something they skip in Elements?? :) It sounds scary.
Q: What is your proudest achievement?
A: I did my first pull-up a few weeks ago and was soooo proud of myself!!! I'm still really excited about it and have been practicing so I can do two. Hahaha for me, that's a major achievement!
Q: What is your most desired goal?
A: More pull-ups!!!! And to be able to lift my weight in something...I'm close!!!
Rant or Rave:
I have really never encountered an exercise program that I have had fun in. I love coming to CrossFit, seeing the regulars, laughing about our challenges, and encouraging each other to do just one more, and striving to improve. The physical challenges at CrossFit are made do-able (well somewhat at least!) because of the support of the trainers and the other members of the class. Before I started, I thought CrossFit was so intimidating and that all these beefy people would make me feel silly and weak...it's been the opposite though and I appreciate everyone's help and encouragement every day!! I feel like it's one big CrossFit family, and Elements is the funny stoned Uncle on the dance floor. I love it!
*** ANNOUNCEMENT: Pull-Up Clinic this Saturday (Mar 12th) will be consolidated into a 1-HOUR CLINIC for both the Traditional Kip and Butterfly clinics. If you are signed up for the Butterfly clinic at 1pm, please come in at Noon instead. You will get lots of attention from our 2 fabulous coaches!***
"Please, I beg you, no running!"
A ton of you are going to be running through the Paleo WOD for the second time tomorrow (Sat 3/12) at 11am. Here's everyone's time on the workout the first time around, in alphabetical order.
Aaron C 13:38
Ann G 13:24
Brian C 11:40
David R 13:48
Michael G 16:15
Michele B 17:26
Michelle M 14:40
Sarah J 19:32
Theresa A 15:34
The CrossFit Games are coming to town, and more specifically, CFO. A number of you have already registered and are going to be competing for Team CFO in the Open Sectional over the next six weeks.
When it's all said and done, we'll have a lot of people competing here on a weekly basis. With that in mind, we're looking for volunteers out there to judge during the workouts. We want to hold everyone to the highest possible standard in terms of movement and range of motion, and judges are critical to ensuring that everyone's performance is the best it can be. The Saturday workout is the primary focus, since most everyone will be competing on Saturdays.
If you can help us out, let us know. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can make this Games experience the best one it can be for everyone competing.
Brian and Mag
In case you've been living under a rock, CFO started 2011 off to a good start with a 6-week Paleo Challenge that ended just a few days ago. We're so proud of all the hard work you've put into this and for putting up with all the "you-can't-eat what?" from everyone in your lives. A challenge like this takes an enormous amount of determination and self discipline! We don't mean to brag, but we had a record number of people who signed up for the challenge and participated in the pre- and post-challenge workouts, even if they fell of the paleo wagon. Congratulations to you all, especially to those who were able to hang in there until the bitter end!
I want to give a special shout out to Beth Q. who not only shaved 2:41 from her pre-challenge time but who's also lost a remarkable 28 pounds (18 during the challenge) since starting CrossFit in January! Way to go, Beth! We also want to celebrate the little victories too, like Christopher Peak kicking his sugar habit and re-discovering the luscious taste of naturally sweetened fruit. I hope you all have stories like these and that you were able to come away with some fresh, new insight into how the foods we eat can directly impact our health and fitness.
And without further ado, the winners of the first Paleo Challenge of 2011 are Theresa and Brian! The winners were based on 1) how they placed in the workouts and 2) the best improvement on their time between the first workout and the second one.
We hope you stay tuned for our next Paleo Challenge later this fall.
And let's give it up for our Paleo Challenge winners in comments!
Tight shoulders seem to be a problem for many of us at CFO. Here are a few stretches to try out. Do a few overhead squats before you do them, then do a few after and see if you notice a difference. (Of course, you only want to do static stretches like these after you are very warm and sweaty).
Start standing next to a wall. Place your palm on the wall next to you and extend your arm forward and up, tracing a circle on the wall. Pass overhead and behind you, completing the circle slowly. Notice that you may have to move away from the wall to complete the circle. Try to keep your shoulders even and an upright posture. When you get to a tight spot, stop and take a few deep breaths. Do three times on each side.
A little inspiration for all of you
It's the following:
CrossFit Games Open 11.1
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
15 Power snatches
The Power snatch loads are as follows:
Men and Masters Men 45-49, 50-54: 75lbs/35kg
Women and Masters Women 45-54: 55lbs/25kg
Masters Men 55-59, 60+: 65lbs/30kg
Masters Women 55-59, 60+: 45lbs/20kg
(See...all that double-under and power snatch work we've been doing lately is going to pay off.)
And here are the links to the workout standards videos:
Who's that little leprechaun sporting his team colors?
Well, don't forget to wear your green to the gym tomorrow and while you're at it, why not try your luck at the Week #1 Sectionals WOD? Seriously - why not?
Just to clear up a few things:
Do I have to decide today? Nope. Yes, you must sign up with CFO by tomorrow night if you would like the 6-week package deal for the bargain price of $50. That being said, if you are not convinced you want to jump all the way into the sea of competition, why not get your feet wet?
Sign up for just this Saturday or simply show up Saturday morning and jump into an open heat. If you are signed up ahead of time, you will be placed in one of the first heats (the list will be posted Friday night). But you can always show up at the last minute and pay your drop-in fee ($20) and hang out until the assigned heats are done. We will not shut the doors until everyone who wants to participate finishes the workout. Remember that you must also sign up on the main CF Games site and post your scores under CrossFit Oakland. CFO will then endorse them and make them all official.
What about scaling? According to this article posted on the CF Games site, these workouts were designed to be accessible to all athletes. So barring injury, we strongly urge you to not only attempt the workouts, but attempt that as Rx'd. You only have ONE double-under at a time? No worries, you could probably eek out that first round in 10 minutes and that my friend, counts as Rx'd.
Do I have to sign up to watch? Heck NO! If you cannot compete for whatever reason, come on down and watch your buddies kill it! Should be fun for everyone. We hope to provide food and drink and lots of fun for all of you. This is our chance to celebrate our sport and we intend to do it up right.
What if I can't make it on Saturday? Simply send us an email with your availability and we will set up a time with you where a judge will be available and you may complete your workout then. Remember to also sign up on the CF Games site and with CFO in order to have your scores endorsed all official-like.
Finally, it is still not too late to sign up as a judge. You do not have to commit to all 6 weeks - just a day or even an hour will be helpful. Judges will meet each Thursday evening at 6pm to go over the workout standards and sign up for heats. Judges will be assigned to specific heats and will be on rotation, so you will have plenty of time to hang out and watch. Check out this video to determine if you have what it takes. Email email@example.com or just come down to CFO tomorrow at 6pm for a short judges meeting and standards briefing if you are interested.
So lift a glass of gluten-free Irish Stout and dig into some paleo Corned Beef & Cabbage and find your Pot of Gold at the end of the competition rainbow by trying your luck at these Open Sectionals. Good luck and Erin Go Bragh!
Fellow Bay Area CrossFitter Jason Khalipa getting 8 rounds + 28 double-unders in Workout 1 of the CF Open
A couple quick notes on the Saturday session:
- I will be posting the heat schedule for athletes tomorrow (Friday, March 18). If you haven't yet registered with us and show up on Saturday, you'll be placed in the last heat of the day.
- Judges will be notified via email which heats they'll be working. Check your email tomorrow.
***NOTE: The Strength Saturday Class is canceled tomorrow (Saturday, March 19). Good luck to all the SS folks who will be competing in the Sacto powerlifting meet the following day!***
Below is the heat schedule for the first workout of the CF Games Open Sectional (see attachment).
A few notes:
- If you don't see your name on the list, you'll be placed in the first available heat we can fit you into.
- If you're a competitor, you need to check in no later than 10 minutes prior to your heat. That's the bare minimum. Feel free to come as early as you want to warm up (we recommend an hour before your heat kicks off).
- If you're a judge, you need to be at CFO at 10:30am.
- Judges will receive their heat assignments later this evening via email. No judge will work more than two heats in a row.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the heat assignments.
Great things happened at CFO today. Many people from all over the Bay Area came together to watch and perform the first WOD in the Crossfit Sectionals. Fun was had by all, and pizza was served.
It was awesome watching the competitors push themselves. One of our newer female members was able to complete two rounds, rx'd, never having done a double under before. I had another participant who had questions about participating at all, tell me that he was thrilled (maybe he didn't use that word, but you know what I mean) that he had done it after all. I loved watching all the people cheering for folks they didn't even know. As we got closer to the end of each heat, the noise would get louder, the crowd would move in closer, and the athletes would start moving faster.
It made me remember all the things I love about Crossfit and CFO. I love our local community, and also the grand Crossfit community, seeing people achieve things they didn't know were possible, and the strength and tenacity that a terrible WOD somehow brings out in all of us.
What do you love about Crossfit? Post thoughts to comments.
Kelly squatting at CFO
Four CFOers--Kelly, Mune, Daniel H, and Tom C--went up to Mark Bell's gym in Sacramento today and put their strength to the test in the March Madness Powerlifting Meet, and they all stepped up and put in great performances with a ton of PRs along the way. In a powerlifting meet, you get three attempts (for each lift) to establish a 1-rep max in the back squat, bench press, and deadlift, in that order.
Here are their top lifts:
Mune: 225.5# Squat (PR), 93.5# Bench Press (PR), 225.5# Deadlift (PR)
Kelly: 265# Squat (PR), 126# Bench Press (PR), 315# Deadlift (PR)
Daniel: 405# Squat, 292# Bench Press (PR), 486# Deadlift (PR)
TomC: 407.9# Squat (PR), 264.5# Bench Press, 468.5# Deadlift (PR)
Strong work! Let's give it up for them in comments!
Here are some photos from this past Saturday during the first workout of the CF Games. This week, the workout is being extended, which means there's not a new workout, and that doing the workout this Saturday is optional. Stay tuned to the blog for Saturday heat information. The process will be a little different than normal since it's a repeat workout.
It's that time again...beef-ordering time! We've scheduled Prather Ranch to drop off as many boxes as we need on Wednesday, April 13.
If you haven't purchased from Prather Ranch before (either via our group purchase here at CFO or via the numerous farmers markets around the Bay Area where they sell their meat), here's what you need to know:
- Their beef is grass-fed and 100% certified organic.
- The boxes they bring us are 40 lbs of all cuts of meat (about half of the box is ground beef, and the other half is made up of cuts like filet mignon, rib-eye, NY steak, etc.).
- It's yummy!
If you can find other takers, you have the option of splitting a box. But just for reference, I'm able to fit a 40-lb box in my ordinary freezer at home, so don't be overwhelmed by the 40-lb figure. And all of the meat is packaged beforehand so you don't have to worry about cutting it up to get it to fit in the freezer.
The cost of the box is $240, which comes out to $6/pound, which is a steal.
You can pay for the beef in our online store or by check or cash (if check, make payable to CrossFit Oakland).
Let us know in comments or by emailing us at email@example.com if you're in on the order so we can get Scott from Prather Ranch a headcount. The deadline to get in on the order is Friday, April 8.
Tracy Anderson can help you look like this - yippee!
Wanna get super-skinny in a matter of weeks? Tracy Anderson is here to help. She's that amazing celebrity trainer who has transformed Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Nicole Ritchie and Penelope Cruz into uber-thin sexpots and states that women should never lift any weight over 3 lbs.
So sorry, you cannot hire Tracy. She splits her time between her 2 famous clients: Business partner, Gwynnie and Madonna - well, actually Madonna fired her for 'spending too much time' with the head of her Malawi charity (he quit to move in with Ms. Anderson). Oh, the drama!! Do not fret. You can join the Tribeca gym co-owned by Tracy and Gwyneth for a mere $4,500 sign-up fee and $900/month. Don't wish to travel to New York? You are in luck!!
I'm sure you will all be very excited to know that Tracy has created her very own workout and diet program dubbed The Tracy Anderson Method. You can all order it for the bargain price of $89.97 for the 90-day program and $29.99 for each additional month in until you feel the need to cancel your 'membership'.
But before you pull out your credit card, you might want to check out this article about a real woman who tried out the Tracy Anderson Method. Here are a couple of highlights:
On the Exercise Plan: I have to say, Gwyneth made it look rather too easy. On the 30-Day Method you have to do to three hours of exercise a day, which decreases to one hour on the 90-day plan. It basically involves doing jazzy leaps, star jumps and aerobic moves in my living room. Tracy is totally against other forms of cardio, such as running, where you repeat your movements over and over. That, she says, will bulk muscles. Along with the aerobics you must do a series of 40 toning Pilates-style moves, which change every ten days. It is gruelling and also mind-numbingly boring. I find myself staring at pictures of Gwyneth in her bikini for 'thinspiration'.
On the Diet Plan (aka The Baby Food Diet): On the first week of the plan I'm only allowed to eat seven different foods, mostly blended. These include the dreaded Power Juice made from kale, spinach, beetroot and apple. It is so disgusting I drink it over the sink in case my body rejects it (which happened on several occasions).
Then there is the Sweet Potato Corn Pudding ( one cooked sweet potato, one raw corn on the cob - blended together till smooth); the carrot parsnip puree (carrots and parsnips - blended); the blueberry and apple sauce (blended until smooth); the gazpacho (also blended until smooth) and protein soup ( surprisingly not blended).
Are you sensing some sarcasm? Maybe a touch of hostility? Ok, fine. I think Tracy Anderson is the devil. She feeds the ugly media machine that sends women the message that being painfully skinny is not only attainable, but desirable. She also puts them on health plans that are at best, unhealthy. At worst, her diet and exercise plan sound like an instruction manual for an eating disorder. But most of all, she leads women astray that might otherwise choose to be strong, fit, empowered, etc.
I am happy to say that the women (and men) of CFO are beautiful, fit and healthy. But most importantly, they are smart and educated. If you ladies (and gents) want to change the way you look or feel, you ask questions, do research, read books and work damn hard to get the results you want. To that end, if you are looking for some good info and the right message, I would recommend the blogs Strong is the New Skinny and Everyday Paleo if you are looking for inspiration or look no further than the CFO Method for a healthy eating and exercise plan.
The Saturday heat schedule has been posted below (see attachment). If you do not see your name on the list and opted in, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The heats are much smaller than last time, due to the fact that this is a repeat workout. We'll be running three 5-person heats.
Judges: Check your email for the judging schedule tomorrow.
Blaire getting after it during the first CF Games Sectional workout
Because this week's CF Games workout is the same as last week, and because many of you have already done the workout this week (for a second or third time, in many cases), if you're repeating the workout this Saturday, you'll need to email us at email@example.com or post in comments and let us know that you're planning on doing the workout.
Once we hear from whoever is in for the workout this Saturday, we'll post the heat schedule to this blog on Friday 3/25 at 8pm.
Just as before (and going forward), the first heat will go at 11:30am. And also as before, you're welcome to show up as early as you need to warm up.
After this Saturday, you will not have to do this. We'll simply assume that you're a part of the Saturday heats unless you tell us otherwise.
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
Lately, I've been having a lot of fun experimenting with different foods and recipes. I can literally spend hours perusing the plethora of gluten-free blogs on the web looking for new ideas and inspiration. For me, there's nothing worse than eating the same old food day after day after day. Not only does this make cooking (and eating) incredibly boring, but it could possibly put you at risk for developing a food allergy. Yup, you can actually become allergic to the very foods that you love and eat daily, if you overdo it.
If you received the "Paleo Survival Kit" you can find a list of all my favorite foodie blogs on the last page of the packet. If you didn't get the packet, but would like the list, shoot me an email and I'll make sure to get it to you.
Better yet, just join the Paleo Track google group that Sierra started a few weeks ago. There are already a bunch of cool recipes that have been posted that I'm dying to try.
Here's a chocolate chia seed pudding that I whipped up for a potluck that I went to over the weekend. It was such a hit that I actually didn't get to have any! I got the idea from Sarah Fragoso's chocolate custard recipe.
(warning: this makes a lot)
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips (I used 58% cocoa)
- 2 cans of full-fat coconut milk (not "light")
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- cinnamon, to taste
- splash of vanilla
- raspberries (optional)
- Shake cans of coconut milk really well. Open them and pour them into a large mixing bowl.
- Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan. Slowly pour melted chocolate into bowl while stirring with a fork or whisk.
- Stir chocolate, coconut milk, vanilla, and cinnamon with a whisk or fork until smooth (about 2 minutes).
- Continue to stir mixture as you slowly add the chia seeds.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hrs.
- Top with fresh raspberries or your favorite fruit.
Sectionals Competitors: The Saturday heat schedule has been posted below (see attachment). If you do not see your name on the list and opted in, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The heats are much smaller than last time, due to the fact that this is a repeat workout. We'll be running three 5-person heats.
Judges: Check your email for the judging schedule tomorrow.
Daniel pulling heavy. Thanks to Chris van Luen for taking this photo.
The first thing to remember about powerlifting meets is that they take a long time. If you are looking for a visually captivating, fast-paced sporting event, you may want to consider a basketball game. However, for those willing to spend some quality time in a chair, you catch glimpses of some truly impressive feats of strength. I am always impressed with the competitors that approach the bar without great fanfare, move heavy weights, and then get ready to do it again.
Probably none of these guys are worried about their pelvic floor.
Tonight I would like to address a topic that may seem a little taboo to many of you. It is important, especially for our female population, especially those of you that have not yet had children.
The pelvic floor is a combination of muscles, tendons and ligaments that support the organs of the lower abdomen and stabilize the pelvis. These muscles, in addition to the abdominal and back muscles, create the strong trunk from which all movement stems.
Weak pelvic floor muscles are usually caused by childbirth, inactivity, and chronic coughing. Generally, the most common result of having a weak core is incontinence of some degree--hence tonight's post. I have had many people (yes, all women) shy away from jumping rope for months until finally admitting why.
If you need help finding out how to feel your pelvic floor muscles at work, here are some ways to discover them.
If you suffer from light incontinence while exercising, there are exercises (Kegels) you can do to help. There are even special barbells you can purchase to help you strengthen these muscles. I will not go into detail about this, but here is a great article from the Mayo Clinic on how to perform a Kegel for women. If you are male, here is an article on how to do kegels for men, which may have some added benefits for you. Pilates (dare I mention this) can also help develop the pelvic core muscles.
I came across the following handstand push-up tutorial (the first part of it deals with progressions for a handstand, as opposed to a handstand push-up) and thought it would be great to share with all of you since it gives everyone an idea of how to approach developing a handstand push-up, regardless of where you are along the spectrum. And for the record, I really like the handstand push-up with stomach against the wall, as opposed to back against the wall. Skip ahead to the 2:18 mark in the video to get to the stuff related to handstand push-ups.
(And the final two push-ups in the video are well worth the wait!)
Also, a necessary precursor to the handstand push-up is the push-up performed the correct way through a full range of motion (i.e., you can't skip ahead to handstand push-ups if you can't do multiple push-ups with elbows tucked in while holding a tight plank position). Check out SF CrossFit coach Carl Paoli's video tutorial on proper push-up positioning (with a guest appearance by K-Star): Getting the Push-Up Right
Tony B and Paige Nutt walking through the CF Games Workout 2 standards, courtesy of the CF Games Website
In case you hadn't already heard, the second workout of the CF Games Sectional has been released:
Max Rounds in 15 Minutes:
9 Deadlifts @ 155#/100#
15 Box Jumps @ 24"/20"
The three movements are familiar CF ones, but you need to be extra careful on the push-ups and box jumps. The push-up, in particular, must be performed with a strict plank position throughout (no leading with the chest on the ascent) and the hands must be released at the bottom. For the box jump, the knees and hip must be straight coming off the box.
Check out the full description of the workout, along with a video detailing the movement standards, here:
Just as in the first week (not the second week repeat), everyone who's registered with us here at CFO will be placed in a Saturday heat unless we hear otherwise from you via email. We're more than willing to run you through the workout before Saturday, you just need to let us know so that we can arrange for a judge to be present.
Richmond's newest hero!
Our Manwell is many things: A WOD-crusher, Veteran, barkeep, graphic designer, homeowner, Dymas' daddy and the main man of the lovely Lydia. This week he decided to add Firefighter to this list as he accepted an offer from the City of Richmond.
This is quite an accomplishment as the process to become a firefighter is a long and difficult one (not to mention fiercely competitive) - involving a written test, oral interview, physical ability test, an extensive background check and comprehensive medical and psychological examinations.
Manwell, I know you are a humble guy, but we all think the world of you and cannot pass up the chance to tell you how proud we are of you and to lend our encouragement and support as you take on this new adventure, which I believe officially starts in July.
Post said congrats, support and encouragement to comments.
OK, here's the deal: Prather Ranch will be dropping off the 40-lb boxes of beef on Wednesday, April 13 at 6pm.
This beef is organic and grass-fed, and the box you get will come with all kinds of different cuts, in addition to ground beef.
There is still time to place an order; the more of you, the better. Here's who we have so far:
Patrick T: 1 box
Brian C: 1 box
Ross: 1 box
Blaire & Connor: 1 box
Justin: 1 box
Dylan & Kyle: 1 box
Dawn: 1 box
Tamara: 1 box
Jenn & Gary: 1 box
Ev: 1 box
Lisa: 1 box
Wave: 1 box
Sean H: needs to split a box with someone
If you want to get in on this order, either say so in comments or email us.