Why do you train? Why do you put up with the soreness, the gasping for air, the uncomfortable components of CrossFit? I think this is an important question to ask yourself often. Each individual will have his or her own Why ? so what is yours?
A variation of this question and one I am more interested in getting to the bottom of with each of our members here at CFC is WHAT are you doing with your training?
CrossFit has become mainstream and grown very quickly the past 3-5 years. Its popularity ranges from its ability to keep people interested to creating undeniable physical results with people who exercise a clean nutrition-eating plan. It is safe to say that it is hard to get bored with CrossFit but it is all too easy to get discouraged.
As a gym owner and coach, I often get the enjoyment in hearing from new members what their initial ?why? is. The most common answers I get for what they want out of their training is to be healthier, lose some weight, look and feel better.
So ask yourself before moving on in this article ? are you healthier? Can you run further or faster? Can you train longer at a higher intensity than on your first day at the box? See we do believe that goals should be updated but we often move right past these small victories without acknowledgement. Why do we do that to ourselves? It is simple ? our society, the world is way more comfortable talking about what we can?t do than celebrating what we can do. All you have to do is open up one of the bazillion social media outlets and look to your feed to see the world?s complaints. It is a no wonder we feel more comfortable discouraged than we do feeling a sense of empowerment. Our negative self-talk is a parasite ? it is constantly playing the comparison game with what you ?still? can?t do.
Everyone is on his or her own journey in the gym but I want to discuss the individuals that I have come to call ?life enthusiasts?.
Life enthusiasts have traits and habits that are different from others. They come in with a humble approach to getting better each and every day and place themselves in a positive mindset inside and outside the gym. It?s the mindset of these individuals that set them apart and allows them to see the most progress. They have a quiet confidence about them because they design their life around well roundedness, taking the pressure off them to ?prove? themselves in one metcon or max out attempt. Life enthusiasts are the ones who keep their complaints and excuses at a minimum. They don?t announce to the entire gym that they tore a fingernail and that is why they are struggling with x movement today. No, this group is kind to themselves ? they exercise positive self-talk in their mind. How do I know this? It is because they spit out positive talk around others. If your mind and self-talk is negative to yourself then your phrases will also be negative in public showing up as excuses, or being overly boastful, to cutting range of motion to put up a good score or even cutting reps in a workout.
The life enthusiast groups are well rounded. They value health and fitness and looking and feeling good BUT they have that attitude in every aspect of their life. They enthusiastically live life inside and outside the gym not feeling the need to prove himself or herself to anyone on any given day. They do not look over their shoulder wondering what weight the guy or gal next to them is doing. They are on their own path and they are at peace with a good day and a bad day in the gym understanding that one-day doesn?t make or break you.
The life enthusiasts are active ? they can be found playing. Just like when they were kids at recess or after school they play and enjoy recreational activities. ?They can be found running 5K?s, playing golf, racquetball, basketball, slow pitch softball, rock climbing, road biking, etc. They use the gym and their workouts to enjoy their recreational activities more and that is where their happiness comes from. With happiness comes more motivation for the upcoming week of WOD?s.
CrossFit is ridiculously competitive and with each passing year the talent in the gym continues to improve with young talented athletes joining up to get into CrossFit. Should the goal be to be ?GREAT? at CrossFit? For some that may make sense because their life, athletic potential, time commitment, etc. allows for hours in the gym working on their weaknesses. For MOST this goal will only leave you discouraged and losing your perspective on why you train. For most our goal should be to be GREAT AT LIFE.
Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed ? if you aren?t having fun then why are you doing it? I love having fun in the gym ? I have fun when I?m not trying to prove myself. I have fun when I enjoy the people, the coaching, and the progress I see from consistent dedication & patience. If I am not working on a weakness then I?m not surprised when it doesn?t get better. An example of my WHY coming out recently was at the driving range ? I hit a golf ball further than I ever had showing me a glimpse of some potential if I apply myself to the game. In that moment I thought man I am STRONG look at that ball fly and I was thankful for the gym and for CrossFit. Later that day I came up against big weakness in the workout ? I didn?t lose my mind I just worked through it the best of my ability and remembered the enjoyment I had earlier that morning hitting the golf ball a long long way. ?So ? what?s your WHY? Ask yourself that and make sure you are enjoying your why often otherwise the world of CrossFit can get discouraging.
For everyone who experienced the CrossFit Open this year ? ask yourself if you are glad you did it? You are! You know why ? because you showed yourself you are capable of much more than that negative self-talk gives you credit for. Go out and get yourself in more of those environments that allow you to enjoy the work you are putting in the gym and keep proving your negative self talk wrong by living an active and prosperous life that is more fun thanks to your CrossFit workouts.
How much protein should I be eating? When should I eat protein? Should I use protein supplements? What is the best protein to use? These are all common questions that get asked by members in the box or by avid gym goers and health enthusiasts. The answer isn’t as easy as some might think; the answer will be different for most people. The main objective of protein is to repair and build muscles after vigorous activity. However, there are some things to take into consideration or research when trying to determine the right protein or when it should be taken.
Some things to think about when determining protein amount and timing:
- What are my goals? Weight loss or weight gain?
- In order to determine the right amount of protein for yourself you have to understand your goals and take in the appropriate amount to help you achieve your goal. Amounts are dependent on body size and physical activity levels. Our performance athletes are going to need to take in more protein to repair and recover their bodies after high amounts of volume and intensity. Whereas our members who have more of a wellness and weight loss focus will require a smaller amount. Calorie amount must be not overlooked.
- Do I get enough through my diet?
- Most people don’t eat enough protein in their daily diet to justify using supplements. Adequate amounts of protein should be obtained through foods such as lean meats, dairy, as well as nuts. This also varies depending on body size and goals. The average person’s diet is typically high in carbohydrates and fat.
- When should I use protein?
- Each meal should contain some sort of protein and should be balanced throughout all meals. Commonly people eat large amounts of protein at dinner and much smaller amounts earlier in the day. The body will only process so much protein at a time so protein intake shouldn’t exceed 30-40 g per meal. Large amounts of protein in a serving are harder for the body to digest.
- Protein supplements are great for post workouts. During a training session you are breaking down muscle and the tissue and in order to repair and grow stronger you must replace what was just burned off and heal the damaged muscle. Your body has a metabolic window of 30-45 min after a workout so it is important to have a post workout shake or snack ready to go.
- What protein should I use?
- There are more supplement brands on the market that I can count. When it comes to picking the right protein powder to use, make sure you research different brands to find out what makes the most sense for you and your goals. Just like any product you will find some on the higher end of the spectrum and some on the lower end.
Here are some options to get you started if you are looking to use a protein powder.
- SFH (Stronger, Faster, Healthier) PURE
- This would be considered a high end protein that is very clean and doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners or GMO’s and is obtained from free range cows. Many athletes training for performance and need a speedy recovery use SFH. Should be mostly be used immediately after workouts and contains 24g of protein and 120 calories per serving.
- Advocare Muscle Gain – Contains 25g of protein and 150 calories per serving. Muscle gain is tested for banned substances to ensure it is safe for athletes. This can be taken as a morning breakfast but most importantly after a workout to aid in muscle repair and development.
- Zeal for Life Protein – Also a clean protein with high nutritional value. It contains 14g of protein and 100 calories per serving. Great for weight management as well as general wellness. Zeal protein can be used as a meal replacement. Also good for a post workout snack. Great for people who have trouble getting enough protein and nutrients throughout the day.
Understanding what your body needs to help it recover and continue to improve is crucial for your success in the gym. It not just about what you do in the gym for that hour a day it’s about what you do outside of the gym the other 23 hours the have the biggest impact of your goals. For guidance on how set yourself up for success and to kill it the next day in the gym contact one of CFC’s coaches! We are here to help you create a better version of you!
Are you a Fat Trimmer?? Better Balancer?? Carb Reducer?
Genetics play a role in everyday life-some people wear glasses or contacts while others enjoy 20/20 vision.? Likewise our genetics play a role in what macronutrients we tend to over store as fat vs. what we burn off faster regarding how it relates to increased metabolism.? Knowing how to combat these macronutrients in your nutrition plan is a key factor in your success.
At CrossFit Collinsville we have a phrase: ?Test ? Don?t Guess?.? This phrase, derived from our want to know the reason behind our genetic dispositions as it relates to nutrition.? This stands as the foundation of our belief in using the genetic test to set goals. Genetic testing, a simple cheek swab completed at an offsite lab, provides knowledge that will better focus your nutritional efforts based on your genetic disposition to store or burn certain macronutrients.?
The test results will group you into one of three categories: Fat Trimmer, Better Balancer, or Carb Reducer.? After determining your group, the formula to kick start your metabolism will be revealed by focusing on the macronutrient proportions best suited for your genes.? With some help and guidance from me, you will begin to understand which sources of macronutrients you want to be careful with & which sources to thrive on.
With this knowledge you can turn METABOLISM and FAT LOSS on its head while putting your genes to work FOR YOU not AGAINST you.?
What is a macronutrient?? ?Macronutrients are nutrients that the body uses in relatively large amounts ? proteins, carbohydrates, and fat-as opposed to micronutrients in which the body requires in smaller amounts-vitamins and minerals.? We need all three macronutrients to survive as they provide calories to the body and perform other vital functions.
LOW/NO CARBS – We often hear about the ?no carb diet? or the ?low carb diet? and the constant references that individuals are not eating carbs as an attempt to lose weight.? But, in actuality, most successful weight losers are minimizing processed carbs and still eating whole food based carbs such as fruits and vegetables.? Fruits and vegetables are great sources of carbohydrates.? Knowledge is the key to understanding proper use of the macronutrient carbohydrate.
CAVEMAN/HIGH PROTEIN – Similarly we hear about people living the ?caveman? diet or high protein diet in which they eat high quantities of meat of everyday.? The issue that most run into is they eat a ton of meat EVERYDAY–this was not how Mr. or Mrs. Caveman lived.? The caveman (or cavewoman) woke up daily and began moving and working to survive. Cavemen hunted and gathered food daily, for survival.? What most of us do not realize is that cavemen were lucky to come across game, let alone successfully make the kill.? Prepping hunted game was not an easy task–they didn?t have freezers, zip lock bags, or refrigerators to store meat for future meals.? They ate for the day and started back over the next morning Mr. & Mrs. Caveman RARELY saw large quantities of meat EVERDAY, in fact, not seeing game for two consecutive days was normal.? Cavemen moved all day working to hunt and gather food sources which is why today we see cavemen depicted in lean physiques and look crazy FIT.? Most modern day ?caveman? enthusiasts hear the word meat and hyper focus on eating large quantities of protein every meal without hunting or gathering and instead type at a desk most of the day.? Weeks later ?meat/protein enthusiast? are left scratching their heads at their lack of weight loss and are pondering the reason for their plateau.
LOW FAT – The word ?FAT? typically makes most run for the hills. ?Most find the thought of creating meals or meal plans around fats very confusing. ?Again the confusion comes from lack of understanding where valuable forms of fat can be found.? Whole foods like nuts, olives, avocados, etc. contain great nutrients in the FAT category and are a part of a whole food plan.?? Healthy forms of fats can be found if you search for quality sources in the grocery store or farmers market.
I personally have a knowledge base and understanding about the above examples because I spent a solid 18 months educating myself on understanding the different models. ?I began my journey with nothing but my own knowledge and experiences so I made many of the mistakes I describe above.? Eighteen months after I started my journey I was down a meager 7lbs from when I proclaimed my goal of ?getting me back?.? That?s when I turned to science and ordered my genetic test.? I also went a step further and optioned for the food journal that was supported by my test results.? From there I got my micronutrient (vitamins/minerals) intake in balance by switching to a liquid vitamin to increase my absorption rate.? With the information provided by the genetic test and food journal I was quickly able to develop the knowledge and skills to build daily approaches to my meals that turned my metabolism INSIDE OUT!? I dropped 30 lbs. (and still counting!) from November to May and I did it the healthy way–through proper nutrition with appropriate caloric daily intake and exercise.?
Through my genetic testing I learned I am a ?carb reducer?.? With that information I immediately went to the food journal, plugged in the results and began focusing on creating a daily meal plan that matched my genetic test results.?? By focusing on hitting my daily percentage in each macronutrient category plus my caloric intake goals, I was able to begin melting like a snowman.? I greatly believe in this genetic test and now have it available for any client/friend/family member or stranger off the street looking to gain knowledge and understanding of their genes or looking for ways to improve management of macronutrients.
BEFORE the test, I took in approximately 50% or more of my calories through protein.? AFTER my test I average 25-35% of my calories in proteins.? BEFORE my test I was hungry all the time, I wasn?t sleeping well, and I suffered from headaches.? After implementing the knowledge I gained from the genetic testing, I feel better than I have in years all because I know understand the way my body can handle and process foods.?
Now if I over do it (which I still do ? I mean what are holidays for?)? My body relays messages to me.? That stomachache I?m having after all that ham, turkey, and meatballs?? That?s my body?s way of saying too much of this category – we can?t break it down fast enough so it?s going to have to sit here and wait in line until we can get to it.? All that protein backed up and not being broken down efficiently causes me to have a stomach ache, head ache, and feel just plain miserable when I move at all because I have too much in my system for my body to handle at one time and I have to ?wait it out?
Jen Doehring, owner of CrossFit Collinsville and a health enthusiast has a passion for knowledge and passing that knowledge onto others.? She will peel back the layers of unhealthy life style habits and help you begin a path towards better help. ?Much of her success has come from putting her genetic test results into a action plan.
Attached?you will find insight on the 3 RESULTS that the genetic test may provide you.? It was interesting to me that I tested as a ?Carb Reducer? and my kid brother came back a ?Fat Trimmer?.? Here I thought that because we were blood he would test the same as me?? The Test ? Don?t Guess method is a surefire way to make sure your plan is the right one.?
To learn more, I?m available in a couple different settings:
-?????? 30 minute Health Coaching Consultation – $45
-?????? Health Coaching Accountability Sessions
- (4) 30 minute sessions – $160
- (8) 15 minute sessions – $160
-?????? Genetic Test + consultation – $199
To inquire about one of these settings or to make a purchase, email me at email@example.com or shoot me a call @ 618-344-3858.
Below you will find a breakdown on the results one would receive from the genetic test.? ?
HOW THE?CARB REDUCER PLAN WORKS. The Carb Reducer Plan is designed to provide approximately:
- 45% complex carbs
- 20% protein
- 35% healthy fats
Daily meal plans feature:
- Three meals and two snacks
- Portions of lean proteins and healthy fats
- Complex carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
The plan uses the Food Exchange System* that is a foundation of the American Dietetic Association. The Carb Reducer Plan is not a no-carb approach. It focuses on replacing “simple” carbohydrates (i.e., white breads, pastas, candy bars, and soda) with “complex” carbs, found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. ??
HOW THE FAT TRIMMER PLAN WORKS.
The Fat Trimmer? Plan helps you cut calories by reducing fat to 20% of your total calories for weight loss. This approach offers the perfect opportunity to expand your horizons with herbs and spices and fresh foods.
The plan is not a no-fat diet but it is low in fat. Your body will reap the benefits of taking in less fat and protein exchanges with an emphasis on complex carbohydrates.?
The Fat Trimmer Plan is designed to provide approximately:
- 65% complex carbs
- 15% protein
- 20% healthy fats
?Daily meal plans feature:?
- Three meals and two snacks
- Controlled portions of lean proteins and healthy fats
- Complex carbohydrates from fruits
- Supplements to support your nutritional needs
- A short daily workout.
HOW THE BETTER BALANCER PLAN WORKS. The Better Balancer? Plan is designed to provide approximately:
- 55% carbs
- 20% protein
- 25% healthy fats
Daily meal plans feature:?
- Three meals and two snacks
- Portions of lean proteins and healthy fats
- Complex carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
The plan uses the Food Exchange System* that is a foundation of the American Dietetic Association. The Better Balancer Plan balances carbohydrates, protein, and fat, while reducing calories in order to better manage your weight. This plan encourages the consumption of foods that meet your nutritional needs, but not too much of any one nutrient. ?Article Credit: ?Jen Doehringfirstname.lastname@example.org
Your power clean should look as smooth as you do on your Senior Prom.? Think of it this way when you are getting ready for a hot date or job interview you take your time to clean up nice.? Same thing should go for when you are doing power cleans in the gym or during a WOD.? Developing a good looking Clean doesn?t happen overnight or in 5 minutes. It takes time to perfect the movement and understand the mechanics.?
Why are power cleans so awesome? Well, it?s because it is one of the most athletic strength and power development movements that a person or athlete can do. It develops total body strength by using every major muscle group and requires the right movement patterns to be successful at the lift.? That?s why you see it so much in CrossFit boxes and your local high school gyms.? The benefits to doing cleans are second to none in my opinion.?
With that being said since doing cleans are so popular in the strength in conditioning world at any level of sport or CrossFit box everybody thinks that they can coach it because they did it when they were playing football in college or saw videos of it on you tube. Understanding biomechanics and human movement is much more important. This all starts usually at high school level weight lifting programs.? I think it is great when kids or athletes begin lifting weights but only if they have an understanding of the movement and have been taught correctly by a coach.???
The downfall of athletes performing cleans and other lifts inside these programs are that they are working in enormous groups of kids who are not shown proper technique but rather a quick description and then told to throw weight on the bar.? RED FLAG! Young athletes need to develop good habits and movement patterns first because they are still developing. Efficient movement and mechanics will do more good in the long run than hyper focusing on the 1RM.? That will happen naturally if they are taught correctly. On top of learning proper technique the athletes must possess the right amount of mobility and coordination to allow them to get into a good position.? It will be much harder to learn if mobility issues are not addressed.?
When learning to Clean you must understand each position of the movement by breaking it up into position holds and moving slowly so you know what each part of the movement feels like.? After this is understood then you focus on the speed of the movement.? When working the full movement a common coaching cue I use is ?Controlled Explosion?.? Almost all sports require this.? Generating force such as swinging a bat or throwing a pitch is controlled explosion. What does this mean?? When the bar is lifted off the floor to above the knee the bar should be controlled and keep all the muscles engaged. In other words, not rushing off the floor causing your hips to shoot up first and then throwing them at the bar to make contact.? Instead, lock yourself in and once you reach the power position that is when you unleash the explosion.? Full explosion results in ?Triple?Extension? which includes hips, knees, and ankle which occurs in all sports.? If this is achieved with good contact and vertical pull of the bar then a quick and explosive clean will result.?
When it comes to improving strength and power and overall athleticism cleans should no doubt be a part?take your performance to the next level or need help cleaning up your technique contact Coach Thomas for 1 on 1 Personal Training. ?A 30 minute session for $45 or 4 sessions for $160. email@example.com?or by phone 618-344-3858.of your routine.? Don?t tackle this on your own! If you are looking to
Article Credit: ?Chris Thomas
Liquids are becoming ever more popular. ?From?juicing your vegetables and fruits, to enjoying your?coffee for the caffeine kick, to the way many people choose to relax over a cold one. ?Ever?wonder why we DRINK alcohol? Why isn?t it something we eat? Why don?t they make pure rum beef jerky or 100 proof candy bars? The answer is simple ? alcohol is intended to get into your blood stream to create a desired cause from its effect and drinking it is a much more effective way to do that.
So?? how do vitamins tie into this? ??.
Recently we have seen liquid vitamins grow in popularity as opposed to the pill forms we are used to. There is good reason for this and it?s not just because they are easier to take. Just like the alcohol you had this weekend, vitamins are more effective in liquid form.
Absorption rate is the name of the game here. Anything we put into our body has an absorption rate. In easy terms it means how much of what you put in your body is actually being used, and how much is simply waiting for you to use the rest room so it can leave you.
When vitamins or alcohol is in liquid form, it immediately begins being absorbed in big quantities by our intestines. When we swallow a pill, our digestive system has to break the pill down before it can be absorbed. Many times only part of the pill is broken down before it moves on and prepares for freedom at your next bathroom break. There are some vitamins that can have an absorption rate of near 90% in liquid form, but only a 20% rate in pill form. That means that 80% of that horse pill I choked down was useless, and is about to give my toilet all the vitamin alphabet it could ever want.
As health focused people, we like to know that what we consume has the desired effect. If we decide to sip on some of Uncle Jesse?s famous moonshine (Dukes of Hazzard reference J),? we want it to be effective, and if we decide to commit to a daily vitamin routine, we want it to be effective as well.
Credit: ?Chris Fair
You want me to go LOWER? ?But at the gym, at school, or on t.v. I see everyone just squatting a short distance – why would I want to go LOWER? ?
Everyone from grandmas to football players should be learning how to do squats to the proper range of motion that is safe for their current functional movement patterns.? Unfortunately most people have no idea how to establish what is a safe depth or how to move through the range of motion properly.
See the picture of the little guy in the picture – this is how we were made to move! ?Over time less range of motion, lazy habits, improper technique creep in and we lose the ability to take our butt to our heels while maintaing a up-right posture. ?Next time you are around a baby that has recently started walking and watch them squat down to pick something up off of the floor you can see this in action! ?It?s pretty impressive that it is such a natural movement and they have had no training of this and yet they perform it very well.? A big reason is the mobility they have in their joints, muscles, and tendons. Not because they are thinking about weight in heels, knees out, chest up, or tight lumbar.? It is encoded in our brains and at that age we don?t even have think about it.?
So why do adults have so much trouble squatting properly?? It?s because they have had years to develop bad habits and not focus on staying mobile or flexible like they were when they were kids.? When adults and kids spend most of their time sitting and are not very active throughout the day then the muscles tend to get stiff and make it harder to move and get into proper positions.? What do you expect in this day and age and the change in lifestyle that has occurred over the years.? That being said it is not too late to fix it.
Most of the pain and tightness that people encounter is because of using the wrong muscles and movement patterns to do a squat.? When the body lacks the mobility to get into good positions the body will over compensate in other areas to try and perform the movement.? Adults and older individuals need to learn these things and develop strength in these areas because it can change a person?s quality of life.? The ability to get up and down on the floor to play with kids or grandchildren or do tasks around the house will be much easier.? Squatting builds stronger more dense muscle as well as increasing bone density therefore reducing the chance of injuries from falls.
Let?s talk about the athletes now.? As a coach who works with athletes of all sports it is very rare that I get an athlete who comes in their first day and has good squat let alone a perfect one.? Why did they forget from when they were kids? Bad habits were developed, lack of coaching, and inactivity are some of the causes.? Sometimes there are anatomical issues going on or even have suffered an injury.? When it comes to an athlete performing squats whether it is football, basketball, volleyball or any sport it is one of the most important exercises that an athlete can do.? It develops strength and power in the lower body that is essential for all movement and provides a foundation.? Athletes will run faster, jump higher, and have less chance of injury if they are performing squats the right way.? When I started lifting weights in high school for sports I never had someone truly break down the movement and focus on mechanics.? It was all about how much weight you were doing, instead it should have been the opposite.? If you goals are to improve strength and size, etc. then proper technique and depth should be priority #1 weight 2nd.? Once I shifted my focus I improved my functional strength as an athlete.?
Long story short it doesn?t matter if you are a 14 year old kid working out at your high school or a grandpa whose daily activity is going out to pick up the newspaper.? The squat is essential for life and sport and allows you to be a strong and healthy individual.?
Desire to improve, get better, or just get some help? ?For just $45 you can go through a a 30 minute functional movement screen and see what areas are hurting! ?Contact Chris Thomas via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 618-344-3858.
Credit: ?Chris Thomas
This is a common phrase that we heard as a child. We would make our way over to the cabinet and pull out our Flintstone?s chewables. We would gnaw the head off of Barney, or Wilma, or Fred, and then off we went to school knowing that we were healthier because we consumed our little cave men for the day.
Seems to me that there are 2 points in life that we really value vitamins – childhood and pregnancy. It?s pretty common to see kids still downing the Flintstone family or something comparable and it seems like the first piece of advice that we give mother?s to be is to start taking pre-natal vitamins. I find it interesting because this is so different from the intended meaning of the word ?vitamins?. Vitamins got their name because they are seen as ?vital? to the human body. In other words, we have to have them to function properly. We ALL have to have them, not just children and pregnant women. I can understand the emphasis put on kids taking their vitamins because kids tend to be picky eaters, so getting all of their vitamins just from the foods they eat may be tough. However, I would argue that in our fast food, genetically modified world, even adults with very broad pallets still have a hard time getting everything they need just from the foods they eat. Even more, many pharmacist and nutritionist will tell you that the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) that the USDA puts out for vitamins is out dated. Many feel that if we take into consideration the common types of foods in our society today, we need more than the RDA of certain vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and stave off disease.
Let?s talk about disease for just a second. It is a fact that getting the proper vitamins will help prevent disease. So it is not surprising that some of the best treatments for cancer and other diseases that researchers have found include vitamins. If you are looking for a loose, yet entertaining, example of this, see the movie ?Dallas Buyers Club? (3 Oscars can?t be wrong!!)
I?ll conclude with my own personal experience. I, like many of you, have been a chronic caffeinater ever since I have entered the work force. Being a Coach at CrossFit Collinsville makes for some early mornings, and being the Head of Baseball at Turn 2 Baseball & Softball makes for some late nights. Several cups of coffee from breakfast to lunch, and then an IV of Mountain Dew or Coke to finish out the night was pretty typical. I have adopted 2 habits that have changed this dramatically. The first is hydration (at a measly 160 lbs. my goal is to consume a minimum of 80 oz. of water each day, however, I average around 100 oz. on active rest days, and almost 200 oz. on heavy activity days). The second is a simple daily vitamin regimen. With both of these habits in play I now consume a single large cup of coffee on most mornings because I enjoy it, not because I need it to function, and soda has become something I will treat myself to only on very rare occasions, also for the enjoyment. The added benefit of both of these habits has been healthier food intake overall, because I don?t find my appetite as stunted as I did when I was high on caffeine all day.
Long story short, our vitamin habits shouldn?t end once we have outgrown the Flintstone?s. Whatever our health goals are ? weight loss, weight gain, performance, etc, vitamins are a VITAL part. ? For more information on our preferred choice of Vitamins inquire with one of our coaches or contact Jen Doehring via email@example.com. ?Coaching people on habits that will make them healthier, happier, and experience a better?quality of life is a passion for us at CFC. ?If you want help adopting this habit or more set up a 30 minute consultation today!
Credit: ?Chris Fair
Hold up, wait a minute, don?t go there! Hmm?.busted! How many of you can honestly say you clicked on this blog just because the title intrigued you? Fair enough ? I?d done the same dang thing.
Now that I have your attention lets talk about your bed?and?.SLEEP PEOPLE. Let?s talk about SLEEP. Geez get your minds out of the gutters!
On a daily basis I hear the barrage of comments floating around the gym, social media, and in my every day life of people looking to lose weight. Often the outlet is through CrossFit since I am in fact a gym owner but more and more I find it sneaking into every conversation I have. I hear the words ?eating clean?, ?No GMO?s?, ?hydration? but rarely do I hear about SLEEP.
Let?s get some things straight ? here are a number of factors that will hurt or help your weight loss journey. If you are deficient in any of these key areas then you aren?t attacking the problem head on. ?You absolutely will not see your best results short term or long term if you do not address them immediately.
WHAT HABITS PROMOTE WEIGHT LOSS?
1. Proper Sleep helps weight loss. Lack or poor rest hurts weight loss.
2. Proper hydration helps weight loss. De-hydration hurts weight loss.
3. Activity helps weigh loss. Inactivity hurts weight loss.
4. Vitamin & mineral balance helps in weight loss. Imbalance of vitamins & minerals leads to weight gain.
5. Proper caloric intake helps?. under or over consumption of calories hurts weight loss.
6. ?Spine health improves weight loss and proper sleep.
7. ?High MET …you get the idea.
Look at the change in the 8 weeks on my sleep along…this is just one indicator.
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? March 10th?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ??April 30th
During this same timeline other areas showed improvement. ?I was down 14 lbs & 12.25 inches and I am now wearing pants that are 2 sizes smaller. ?My gymnastic movements are improving in the gym, my running is increasing, my joint pain, recovery time, and strength are also improving. ?This is a ridiculous change and it is due to attacking my health and weight loss from all sides! ?When we treat our body better – it treats us better. ?It gives us a frame and composition we are happier with, it allows us to rest peacefully, it allows us to enjoy better energy, less headaches, aches and pains, etc. ?When someone tells me about a weight loss strategy I ask 3 questions.
MY 3 RULES:
1. ?Is it clean? ?Think of it as eating non-processed, chemical-free, natural ingredients.
2. ?Is it sustainable? ?Meaning if I start this habit could I continue it for the rest of my life? ?Sure some methods work – if you’re a billionaire and have the cash to fork over. ?I mean can the everyday average joe or sally work it into their routine daily and confidently commit to it?
3. ?Is it functional? ?Meaning is it designed to have functional use? ?This is why I absolutely love CrossFit (when done properly with a well trained, high integrity coach administering the workout.)
One of the habits that fits all these criteria is following and?logging my sleep.?When I started tracking my sleep patterns (or lack there of) I was shocked at how restless I was. I had been told that sleep had a huge impact on weight loss but I never felt equipped to do something about it. Now I do.
WHY SHOULD I START TRACKING & ANALYZING MY SLEEP?
1. Sleep makes you less hungry
2. Sleep decreases daytime stress levels
3. Sleep increases the body?s ability to burn calories
4. Sleep increases muscle mass (which helps promote increase in metabolism creating more fat loss ? think lean and mean!)
5. Sleep gives you a lower pain threshold ? that?s right less chronic aches and pains. Which could mean fewer drugs in your body to fight those symptoms.
I know it is super cool to be that 20 – 40 something year old who is so busy with their career that they don’t get ‘enough sleep’ – it gives the perception that you are crazy important. ?I dare to challenge you to treat yourself with the utmost importance and begin re-committing back to being the best version of YOU for yourself, your family, and your career. ?Walking around cranky, complaining, feeling like a sloth isn’t helping anyone so reconsider your current habits and regime and if you are ready for a change let us know.
Our system promotes healthy lifestyle habits vs. a barrage of shakes, pills, bars, and ?funny looking? stuff. The habits we are creating in our members will last them a lifetime and get them towards a path of health! To find out more and to get started down your journey of weight loss email me for a 30-minute consultation it is an investment in your future self of $45 and 30 minutes of your time!
To schedule a consultation please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Credit: ?Jen Doehring
Let?s talk fatigue. Most American?s at some point in their day will use the expression- ? I?m tired/exhausted/beat/dead/etc.?. The purpose of this article is to help us better understand the pitfalls of our morning routine.
Today we will stick with the ?liquid? part of our morning routine. Pick your poison ? Coffee or that other stuff like soda, sweet tea, etc. Most of us reach for one or the other before we even leave for work.
After we consume our beverage we may feel a little better but the rest of the day is often this wrestling match between us and our symptoms of dehydration. By mid morning or early afternoon we are yawning and uttering the words ?I?m tired / I must not have gotten enough sleep?, etc. In some extreme cases lack of sleep may be to blame ? but that is very rare. More often than not your liquid routine it to blame.
When you head to the kitchen most people reach for their choice of caffeine. This is all reasonable given that most people wake up ready to go back to bed. The problem arises when we choose caffeine first. We are coming out of a slumber where we spent 6-8 hours at rest. While our body is at rest our organs and involuntarily responses are still occurring so our system is ?shut down? but not officially ?off?. As the body works throughout the evening it uses any reserves it has to keep it functioning. Up to 60% of the human adult body is made up of water. Let me repeat that ? up to 60% of our body can be narrowed down to one thing ? water. Since over half of our body is water what do you think the body is using throughout the night to keep us breathing, digesting, etc.? That?s right ? water. So when we wake up that is the first thing we need to replenish.
The fatigue you feel in the morning is often blamed on a poor nights rest or not being able to sleep as long as one would like. In reality the fatigue you are feeling is a symptom of dehydration. Our body speaks through signals to the brain and these symptoms are our way of understanding what the body needs to feel better. Fatigue, headaches, hunger, dry mouths are all symptoms of one thing ? dehydration. Think of those signals in terms of a car. You wouldn?t buy a car and then never give it an oil change would you? I mean you could but you will burn out the engine and long before the engine goes it will have symptom after symptom trying to notify you that something is wrong and it needs some attendance. Your body is no different. The symptoms of fatigue, feeling lethargic (lack of energy), headaches, hunger, dry mouth are all signals your body is sending to your brain saying ? we need water! Best thing you can do is begin reaching for water when you notice a symptom and back off the caffeine.
SO COFFEE IS BAD FOR ME, RIGHT?
No, that?s not the message of this article. In fact coffee has a big upside. Depending on quantities – Coffee has been found to reduce the risk of diabetes, improve memory and cognition, as well as, help in fighting free radicals.
IF COFFEE IS A GO, THEN WHY DO I STILL HAVE THESE SYMPTOMS? It?s simple ? you need water to fight the symptoms then you can enjoy your coffee.
You need to get your body back to a neutral state upon waking. To get your fluids back up immediately drink 12-24 ounces of water (or more) before you do anything else! Then use the rest of the day to meet your daily water intake to help continue the fight against fatigue, hunger, dry mouth, irritability, etc.
HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD I DRINK?
Easy answer is enough to fight of the symptoms you are experiencing. The more scientific one is calculated based off your weight. Keep in mind that the more active you are the more water you need. So the calculations below are a starting point and should be increased based off your activity level.
DAILY WATER RECOMMENDATIONS:
Body weight / 2 = #ounces of water/day.
Body weight/ 2, then /8 = #cups of water a day.
How you measure makes no difference. If you want to track ounces or cups it doesn?t matter as long as you know what you are tracking and you haven?t accidently transposed the numbers.
Body Weight of 200lbs
200/2 = 100 OUNCES of h20/day
200/2 = 100/8 = 12.5 CUPS of h20/day
Chances are most people are not hitting their average water intake daily, couple that with poor re-hydration in the morning and it?s a no wonder our fatigue, hunger, and headaches are at an all time high!
Take home points ? re-arrange your morning so that the focus is on hydration first. I guarantee you will wake up faster. Then you can hit your cup of joe but keep up with your water throughout the day and have your goal in mind to fight off the symptoms of dehydration.
Credit: ?Jen Doehring
By William Imbo: BoxLife Magazine
The overhead squat (OH squat) is, for many CrossFitters?one of the most vexing movements in the CrossFit repertoire. It exposes weaknesses in flexibility, balance, strength and coordination. For these reasons (and many more) athletes will avoid putting in the countless hours needed to develop the tools required for a strong OH squat. Many an athlete will be content to have a mediocre (or poor) overhead squat, as their back squat, deadlift etc. is strong?and that?s fine, it?s a personal choice. BUT, before you head down that road, or if you?re getting frustrated with how your OH squat is progressing, have a read of what Coach Glassman (Greg Glassman, founder and CEO of CrossFit)?has to say on the movement:
?The overhead squat is the ultimate core exercise, the heart of the snatch, and peerless in developing effective athletic movement. This functional gem trains for efficient transfer of energy from large to small body parts ? the essence of sport movement. For this reason it is an indispensable tool for developing speed and power. The overhead squat also demands and develops functional flexibility, and similarly develops the squat by amplifying and cruelly punishing faults in squat posture, movement, and stability.?
-Greg Glassman, CrossFit Journal
As Glassman says, the OH squat?will?expose the deficiencies you have?this is why it is such a valuable tool to work on. Getting better at the OH squat will develop skills that transfer over to several other major movements and lifts (like the snatch) in CrossFit?not to mention being an excellent way to develop effective (athletic) movement in and out of the gym. So, stop neglecting your OH squat training! While your coach will likely show you the fundamentals of the movement, we wanted to give you some extra tips that you may not know about (and if you already do, it?s always good to be reminded!). Read on for 6 tips for developing the OH squat.
1-Identify mobility issues?then work on them
You will have likely heard this countless times before, but if you can?t execute a solid air squat, then there?s no point in trying to progress to an overhead squat. Make sure you have a solid squat foundation first, then try a couple of OH squats with a training bar (not a pvc pipe?I explain why below) as you will likely discover additional mobility issues, namely in your shoulders. The OH squat requires excellent flexibility in the shoulders, hips, hamstrings, glutes and adductors (groin muscle). It?s unlikely that you are highly mobile in all of these areas?which is why the OH squat is avoided by so many. It may be frustrating, but you MUST invest the time into sufficiently mobilizing the afore-mentioned muscle groups in order to externally rotate your hips and become comfortable squatting with a bar overhead.
2-Develop midline stability
The overhead squat demands a high amount of midline stability, and therefore a high amount of core stability. Given that this movement requires you to hold a weighted bar overhead, much of the stability work will go to the core?most predominately the lower back. If you do not have an active midline when performing the OH squat (or any lift where the weight is overhead), you are susceptible to hyper-extending the lower back, resulting in an unfavorable overhead position?not to mention putting yourself at risk of injury. It is therefore imperative that you strengthen your core muscles and mobilize your lower back as often as possible. Every time you do a movement in class, think tight butt, ribcage down?this will help develop a neutral pelvic position instead of an anterior pelvic tilt (i.e. hyper-extension of the lower back).
Midline Stability Drills:
Hip Mobility then
50 Hollow Rocks
50 Single Leg Bridges
25 Strict toes to bar/Knees to elbows
3-Start with the right weight-but NOT a pvc pipe
Wait a second?don?t start training with the trusty pvc pipe? Why not? Well, Tamara Reynolds, a competitive weightlifter, coach and co-founder of Weightlifting Academy, explains why you should learn with a barbell (or training bar) instead:
?Part of the difficulty of an overhead squat is keeping the bar over your base. It?s possible to lock out a PVC pipe in all sorts of places that aren?t correct without even realizing it. You need to be able to feel where the bar should be so that you can ingrain the correct positioning, and using a barbell instead of PVC helps make this possible.?
A lot of CrossFit coaches may disagree with Reynolds, but I must say, what she says make sense. A PVC pipe is so light that you could be developing bad habits and positioning without realizing it. Using a bar that is weighted yet light enough to hold overhead will force you to engage your core (midline stability) and reveal any areas of your body that still require mobility work in order to perform the squat with correct positioning.
4-Press into the bar
When performing the OH squat, you should be thinking about constantly lifting/pushing the weight, and never just ?holding it?. USA Weightlifting sports performance coach and competitive weightlifter Kat Ricker?explains why?you want to avoid simply holding the bar:
?One reason the OHS can be so counter intuitive is that the body wants to move as a unit through the dynamics of physics ? in this case gravity ? which means that as you descend, the muscle groups involved in keeping the bar raised tend to relax, hold, and depress. So the scapular group tries to switch from elevation to depression. The upper traps try to switch from concentric contraction to bigger balance with eccentric, to brace the body to catch the overhead falling weight.?
Needless to say, you do?not?want your muscles to be relaxed and depressed during the movement?they should be flexed to form a solid base of support for the weight overhead. Next time you are practicing your OH squat try pressing into the bar and see if you feel any improvements.
5-Stabilize in the hole
When you descend into the lowest part of the squat?the hole?it?s important not to rush out of it too soon as you risk losing your form. Instead take a moment to stabilize yourself and the bar. Make sure that you?re flatfooted, weight in your heels and your elbows and shoulders are turned out (armpits facing forwards). Doing this will reduce the risk of losing control of the bar path when you rise out of the squat and keep you moving efficiently?but don?t take to long to stabilize as your muscles may lose tension and you could get stuck down there, which will likely lead to you bailing on the lift. When everything is set and you feel comfortable, go ahead and drive out of the squat, with good form.
6-Train with pause squats
Getting comfortable at the bottom of the squat is probably the trickiest part of the entire movement. To work on this element of the exercise, it?s important to get used to having the bar (and weight) above your head when you?re at the bottom of the squat?the hole. One way to do is by training with pause squats (this exercise can be utilized to develop your front and back squats as well). Pause squats are great for developing power out of the hole, building torso rigidity, taking stress off of the knees and developing confidence and comfort in the lift?to name just a few benefits.
There are a number of variations that you can play around when pause squatting, but one that I have personally found effective utilizes a four-second hold. To do this, start with the bar racked and at a much lighter weight than you would normally use for 3-4 reps. Take the bar off the rack and get into your OH squat position and squat down into the lowest possible position you can achieve (while maintaining good form!). Hold this position for a count of four, then drive out of the hole. Repeat for a total of four reps, five sets, ascending in weight each set.
Credit: ?Laura Knutson