Did you happen to watch the CrossFit Games this past week? What an awesome display of athleticism and community. It makes me feel like working out harder and it also makes me feel like I am way out of shape. HA! Someone posed a question online about whether the CF Games actually hurts local affiliates because the general public thinks that those athletes are the normal CrossFitter. They aren’t- CrossFitters come in all shapes, sizes and fitness levels.
Watching the games on TV this weekend also reminded me how big the whole thing has become. 3-4 years ago, the crowd was small and intimate and the athletes weren’t celebrities, they were just people working out. Times change…
Congrats to Camille and Rich! Both worked hard and completely earned their first place wins!
For those not familiar with the CrossFit Games – any athlete can buy into the CrossFit Open. It’s a series of weekly workouts over a 6 week (I think) period that you perform, post your scores – which are then validated by a Certified CrossFit Gym or you can submit a video. The top scores/athletes from each of the regions get invited to the Regionals, where they spend a few days vying for a spot to the Games. The top 3 from each region go to the games. It’s a long process that starts in the Spring and ends in August in Carson, California. The main Games features CrossFit athletes but they have Master’s divisions (40+) and then of course, there is CrossFit Kids (they don’t compete at the Games).
One of my CrossFit buds and friend Jason Sturm is featured on the cover of the most recent The Box magazine I met him at CrossFit Rubicon and have always just been genuinely in awe of him. What a great way to honor a great guy…
- Boxing: Why Lifting Weights Won’t Increase Punching Power
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This video makes me feel cuddly inside: Baby and pit bull puppy snuggle up
Today’s yoga class theme was all about listening to your body which was quite timely as I have been following an interesting discussion in a Master’s CrossFit Group (+40 years old) all about feeling like you need a break and adrenal fatigue.
Here is the post that started the very active discussion:
It’s the first time since I started CrossFit over 2.5 years that I feel like quitting. Since I became menopausal, I’ve had to deal with one issue after the other. The most prominent is adrenal fatigue. My body has said “enough!” Thankfully I’m able to do my best to follow the suggestions from professionals. Just a few days back I received more discouraging news so I feel like throwing the towel in. I sure hope I don’t stay in this place too long. Anyone else out there having this experience?
I think this happens to a lot of folks actually and may be the reason behind my recent break from CrossFit. I was starting to really struggle through the workouts – my body was unusually sore, and I just lacked the energy and motivation to really push. I also was gaining weight and losing interest in something that at one time was the source of so much fun in my life.
I think we are conditioned to ignore certain signs and feelings – the attitude of pushing through the pain or suck it up. There is an element to that in life, but there are also tell tale signs when it’s something more than simply needing a push. It’s the time to quiet your mind and really pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you. If you love something and gradually you start to see your enthusiasm for it die down — stop and take a look at what’s going on. Chances are there are signs that will lead you to figure out what’s going on. But you have to stop and listen!
CrossFit is a wonderful method to get in shape for everyone, however a 20 something year old is very different than a 40 year old athlete. The body has had twenty more years of use and for some, abuse. There are lots of physical and chemical issues that come a long with aging that there is NO way to compete on a truly equal level. CrossFit is full of young kids and it’s important for the Master athletes to keep their ego in check and realize that the only person they can equally compete against is themselves. But what happens is you see that young whipper snapper pushing through – kicking ass and your inner voice starts to speak louder, demanding you step up. You have to train that voice to shift perspective and push for progress. For me – I have to remember to stop and ask myself a few questions: Am I having fun? Am I learning? Is it working?
For me, the right thing is to take a break from CrossFit and the programming at the gym I was at – try some different approaches and find my inspiration and passion again. I hope this encourages you to take time daily to quiet your mind and listen.
- Health: The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains
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I have now been boxing for about 4 weeks - I have some observations to share: I was pleasantly surprised to find out that in addition to 8 rounds of boxing with the heavy bag, you start off with a solid 15 minute warm up a challenging 15 minute core/strength/mobility to finish up the hour. I have already seen results after four weeks — which is always encouraging!
The thing about exercise for most of us – it needs to have certain qualities: Safe, Effective and Fun! I recently read about a certain burn out that many CrossFit gyms see in their members after one or two years. I think what happens is coaches/owners are very focused on new members, making sure they learn the basics and are learning safely. All good things.. however, that means the members who have been there a while, tend to get less attention. I get that you can’t expect to be coached every minute of the class, however – you should expect to have some oversight and regular attention and coaching on what you are doing. After a year or two, if those members considered ‘advanced’ or at the very least beyond a beginner, don’t have an outlet for the updated coaching they need – it’s easy to see how one can become bored and unmotivated. I think that is what I have experienced in both of the CF gyms I have been members of –I have a ton of learning to do when it comes to strength training and body mechanics but the learning extends beyond the basics at this point. And yes, I can do it on my own, however I work better in a group setting which is what I love about CF. I feed off of the group energy — so, there you have it. CrossFit gyms need to ensure they have programs and an outlet for those members who need the next level of coaching in my opinion!
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I hope everyone spent yesterday’s holiday the way they wanted! And took time to remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we have. After all, that’s what the holiday is all about. Many folks in the CrossFit community do a workout entitled “Murph“, to honor Murph” - Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005. He was 29, from Patchogue, N.Y. Lt Murphy was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after his death. It’s a brutal workout if done completely – but the point is to do it in his honor, so 1/2 Murph or any sort of combo is fine too!
Learn more about Murph’s bravery and who he was…
I spent some time yesterday just sitting on my deck, feeling the somewhat cool breeze and soaking in the rays for a bit. I find sometimes that that’s one of the most effective ways for me to unwind and be still. I have been feeling out of sorts and am working my way back to whatever my normal is this week –
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- Fitness: DON’T GET BULKY – And other stupid things I hear…
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Sunday: Power Boxing with HB
Monday: Power Boxing
Meeting Major, the young football player yesterday made me think about how many of us don’t take mobility seriously. He’s a young, healthy kid who plays for a college in NC and yet, he doesn’t really do any sort of stretching/mobility work in his overall training. I wonder if this is the norm for many young athletes – they do basic stretching but don’t really spend dedicated time working on it. And maybe it’s not as vital for them because they are young but when you get older – it’s vital. I found some resources and exercises to help with overall hip mobility:
My personal favorite pose is the half pigeon (pictured to the right). I feel so much better after that pose – physically and mentally. As I have mentioned before, we hold a lot of emotions in our hips…
This weekend is the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Regionals. For those that aren’t familiar, this is where all the amazing local athletes that performed well during the CrossFit Open compete. The top three Men/Women/Teams are invited to compete at the Official CrossFit Games in California this summer. It’s being held at George Mason/Patriot Center this year – I’m going to go check it out for a bit on Sunday. They hold regionals across the world during this time –
There are some amazing athletes competing – including some kick ass, strong, inspiring women. CrossFit created a video highlighting the Women of the Mid-Atlantic … Enjoy!
- CrossFit: Can the National Pro Fitness League Become the Next Big Thing?
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Charlie Day’s Merrimack College Commencement Address
- One hour Title Boxing Club Power Boxing
Happy Monday folks! It seems like everyone in my house has been battling a bug the past few days – coughing, achy and cranky. And today’s Highbar workout had running in it — and yes, it did cause a coughing fit. It frustrates me to no end that my lung capacity is limited when I work out and today was a perfect example. After the 400m run, I was coughing so much that I couldn’t do all the pullups/lunges I needed to.
I recently read that Olympic athlete Apolo Anton Ohno has asthma. Around 30 million Americans have EIB (Exercise Induced Asthma) and think what they are experiencing is a normal part of working out. Imagine doing endurance based work and your chest tightens up, you can’t catch your breath and you start having coughing fits — your lungs can’t get enough oxygen and you start to sound like Darth Vader because you are grasping for air. Yeah, that’s what happens to me while I am working out. The most endurance based activities I do, the better I feel though and since it’s the start of spring – I plan to focus on more cardio work so my lungs will get used to it.
- The Athlete’s Guide to Exercise Induced Asthma
- Why Do So Many Winter Athletes Have Exercise Induced Asthma
Whether it’s a physical ailment like asthma, extra weight to shed, nutrition or physical – we can always improve and get better. I came across this post from Chef, owner/coach at CrossFit Rubicon. I thought it was good enough to share this AM about starting with the basics — diet, training and sleep before buying into other ‘fixes’.
“Supplementation? Lacking in some vital nutrient? then supplement. Additional supplement choices? the protocol is easy and straightforward: Add ONE and ONLY ONE supplement to your current consistent regimen. If you see or feel a marked improvement in strength, recovery, speed, endurance or general sense of well being in 30-60 days? Keep it. If not? You don’t need whatever it is and should save your $$. Feel like trying another supp? Do the same but ONE CHANGE AT A TIME. The crux of the biscuit is this: if your diet, training and/or sleep are at best irregular and inconsistent, there is no supplement that can help you perform better than getting your fueling, training and recovery act together. Nothing can supplant determined consistency in the work. Do. The. Work. The rest is theme music.”
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- Life Lessons: Taking Things Personally.
Yesterday’s workout: Flow Yoga
During yesterday’s hot yoga class, the theme was practicing compassion -specifically SELF COMPASSION. Often times we are so hard on ourselves, never cutting ourselves a break. Kindness needs to start with you in order for it to really blossom. We all have disappointments, struggles that we deal with and visions of how we think things should be — but sometimes the reality doesn’t or just can’t line up. We want to look a certain way or be better at something we try and set up these unrealistic expectations and then are so mean to ourselves when it doesn’t happen. Challenge yourself to stop those voices in your head that automatically shoot you down — and practice self compassion daily.
One of the guys I workout with in the AM, Ray, shared his experience when he went in for a physical this week:
Doctor at my physical today told me that because of my BMI number he thinks i am OVER WEIGHT, even though the nurse did my body fat percent which was 11.4%.
It’s another example of what a crock of crap BMI is –
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Love this song by Peter Gabriel and love that talented artists who actually can sing took this amazing song on!
- 800m run test
- Extra Mobility
- Tabata Weighted Planks/Weighted SuperMan Holds
1 Hour Cycling Class at CycleLuv
Funny timing with my post yesterday for Nate Dogg’s birthday and raising him and the New York Times having a piece entitled: A link Between Fidgety Boys and a Sputtering Economy. Almost like it was written with him in mind…
For some reason, I came home from San Francisco feeling antsy and feeling like I needed to change up my workout routine a bit. I know I need to do more cardio to lose the pounds I have put on — and while I realize the benefit of strength and conditioning training, I also realize that I need to branch out because I am feeling burnt out. Burn out and my shoulder impingement have forced me to mix up my fitness program. It’s good to be forced to work on other stuff for a while – I have been going to CF two/three times a week and then doing yoga and/or cycling the other days. And will be starting to run more and have signed up for another 5K race Mid-May. I am finding the Yoga and Cycling challenging in different ways and I hope it helps me get over this burned out feeling. It’s tough to head in for a workout and have no mojo to do it whatsover – even though you know you love it and you need it to feel great the rest of the day.
Here’s a quick refresher on signs of overtraining and burn out:
- Balance or Bust: Preventing CrossFit Burnout
- Overtraining Can Kill You: The 3 Stages of Overtraining, Part 1
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- Life Lessons: 5 Things Your Middle Schooler Is Doing Right Now <–I’m not sure if I shared this one before!
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- Health & Fitness: Why You Should Not Be Running
- Health & Fitness: When You Hit the Wall in Training: 5 Ways to Fix It
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- 1P Wall Balls
- Renegade Rows
- 90 sec rest –
- KB Swings
- Slam balls (my shoulder started to bother me, so I switched to burpees)
Then, crazy me decided to do more…
- 20+ miles CycleLuv class
Thought it was interesting to post this pic of Scott and I together in 2000 and then us just this past week — love, happiness & healthy living really can make a difference. No one has a perfect marriage, but if you are with someone and are both committed to it, it can work through ups and downs.
Yesterday, I headed to Highbar CrossFit, did some mobility and back squats. Then I went for a run – gotta start upping my cardio/endurance so you will see more posts about me running and cycling. Strength training alone won’t help me shed weight — watching my diet and adding more cardio will.
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Watch this video: Slomo and when you are done, I want you to ask yourself if you are doing what you want to do. Are you really tapping into what makes you happy? Not everyone can just take a leap like this guy has done, but we can all take steps to bring us closer to doing what we enjoy…
- CrossFit: CrossFit Chronicles: From Newbie to Newbie
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CycleLuv Spinning Class!