Rest? Who needs rest?

Actually, we ALL do. That whole “rest is for the weak” thing is actually the complete opposite. Rest is for the strong, and those who want to be stronger. Here’s a link to an interesting article I found today about the importance of rest and recovery as part of your workout regime – check it out.   (while I’ve been “power-resting” the past few weeks for all my various injuries… LOL)

http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sampleworkouts/a/RestandRecovery.htm

April 26, 2011 at 8:26 PM Leave a comment

The Truth Hurts…

So I’ve been having issues with pain in both shoulders on and off for the last 2 years, and today I went and saw the 3rd orthopedic doctor about this extremely annoying recurring problem, as the last 2 doctors were unable to come up with any answers. I already underwent physical therapy and still do the stretches and exercises on my own at home, and while they have helped my range of motion improve, the pain persists. In many cases, it also prevents me from reaching my full potential on certain crossfit movements. Well I finally got an answer today…

The diagnosis? Impingement Syndrome. That basically means there’s not enough room between the bone on the top of my shoulder (the acromion) and my rotator cuff, so when I raise my arms, the acromion rubs against/impinges on the rotator cuff tendons and the bursa (small lubricating sac between the acromion and the rotator cuff), causing pain, irritation and inflammation. Woohoo.  The treatment? Each shoulder got an extremely painful shot of novacain, followed by shots of cortisone, a steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine – which were equally painful despite the fact that my shoulders were supposed to be numb from the novacain. And if you know me, you know I have a very high tolerance for pain, so you also know those shots really friggin’ HURT! Now I’m supposed to ice heavily for the next two days, followed by little to no overhead movements or lifting for the next 4 weeks. That’s right, 4 whole weeks. If you’re a crossfitter you know how long that actually is. Ugh. Which also means that if you’re a fellow crossfitter, I’m expecting you to hold me accountable to not pushing myself and focusing on lower body movements for the next 4 weeks, so my shoulders can actually heal. Guess that muscle-up is just going to have to wait….

March 23, 2011 at 2:44 PM 1 comment

It’s all in the family

So I was perusing facebook this morning, and I noticed an interesting trend. Pretty much most, if not all, of my friends who are crossfitters either have a picture of them at crossfit as their current profile picture, a past profile picture, or at least a decent collection of pictures from crossfit in one of their albums. My friends who are not crossfitters have the usual social pictures, cute head shots, etc, and many of my rugby teammates do have rugby action shots in their collection – but not one picture from the gym, whether it’s Gold’s or Best, or Planet Fitness – nope, not one. A little bizarre don’t you think? Why is this? It’s actually pretty simple – crossfit is not a gym. What, you say, of course it’s a gym, you work out there don’t you? Well yes, but it’s so much more than a gym. For one, I would actually consider it to be a sport. I don’t just go there to workout, I go there to compete, whether it’s in a daily WOD where I’m competing against myself for a good time on a metcon, or for a PR on a heavy lift, or whether I’m competing against my fellow athletes in an in-house (and maybe someday a regional) competition. Notice I said athletes, not gym-goers. It takes an immense amount of dedication, determination and mental strength to be a crossfitter – there is no such thing as an easy workout here. So of course when I go and I bust my ass to be the best athlete I can be, of course I’m going to be proud of my efforts.  Secondly, and actually more important to me,  crossfit is a community, and in many cases, close enough to be considered family. Not only do I look forward to seeing my fellow crossfitters, coaches and trainers, I know what people go to certain classes and who coaches which class, and I know who I want to workout next to because I know we’ll push each other during the WOD. I’m not just happy when I hit a PR, I’m happy when my girlfriend hits a PR, I’m happy when my friends hit PRs, and I’m happy when the guy or girl next to me that I may or may not know very well or even at all hits a PR. I am proud of my family and who they are, what they put themselves through on a regular basis to be faster, stronger, healthier – but never getting cocky or arrogant about what they are capable of.  They have supported me from day one, when I didn’t know a thing about crossfit and had to unlearn all my old bad gym habits. They support me at my worst, when I’m in a bad mood, or when I was sick and barely able to train, and they support me at my best.  And I know for a fact that my fellow athletes feel the same way. So it makes sense that they all have pictures up on facebook of crossfit. Call it a cult if you will, people have, but we know what we are a part of and we are proud to call ourselves crossfitters. Truth be told, I’ll probably eventually retire from rugby, as other people will probably retire from their current sports or move on to another, we’ll all move different places at some point, meet new people, make new friends – but I know that no matter what, no matter where we go, we will never stop crossfitting.

February 24, 2011 at 10:27 AM Leave a comment

When mind over matter doesn’t matter

So we’ve all heard it – think before you act, mind over matter, it’s a mental thing…. but what happens when your brain actually gets in the way? I’m starting to discover that when it comes to workouts, sometimes you just have to let go and stop thinking – because when you do, that’s when you find out what your real limits are. You’d be surprised at how much stronger your body is than your mind lets you believe. That 20 minute AMRAP from hell? Yes, you can finish it even though you think you can’t. That 20, 24, 36 inch box jump? Yes, you can make it. That heavy deadlift or squat might look intimidating with all those plates on the bar, and it’s heavier than you’ve ever lifted…. and yes, you can lift it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve completely psyched myself out because I let myself think too much about how heavy or how hard something was. So in this case it is a mental thing –  too mental. Most of my PR’s have come when I just shut my brain off and went for it. If you fail, you fail – what’s the worst that can happen? But you’ll never know if you don’t push yourself. Like I said, you’ll be surprised at what your body can actually do if you let it.  So against most conventional wisdom we’ve been given, here’s my advice – for however long your workout is, STOP THINKING. Don’t let your mind underestimate your true abilities. Don’t let fear get in the way of achieving your fitness goals. Just go for it. Go for that PR, go for Rx in a WOD and use a weight you’ve never used, conquer your suck list. And then after you’ve done whatever it is you’re trying to do, only then, go ahead and turn your brain back on – so you can think about what a kick-ass job you just did and bask in your awesomeness. Because you are awesome, no matter what you think.

December 31, 2010 at 1:42 PM Leave a comment

Dangerously Yummy Paleo Pumpkin Apple Muffins

…try saying that 3x fast. LOL. They really are dangerous though…

Paleo Pumpkin Apple Muffins

4 eggs
2 1/4 cups almond meal
1 large apple (or 2 small apples) peeled and finely chopped
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp honey
1 heaping Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 large handful chopped walnuts
optional: 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Pre-heat oven to 350.  Whisk eggs in large mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients except chopped walnuts and mix by hand.  The batter will not be super thick, but more like a cake batter.  Using a bit more coconut oil or olive oil, grease a muffin tin.  Fill the tins about 3/4 of the way full.  Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top of each muffin. Bake on middle rack for about 20 minutes. You will know they are done when you can insert a toothpick into the middle of a muffin and it comes out clean.  Serve warm out of the oven. Word of caution, they tend to stick to the sides of the tin, so be careful taking them out – a lightly oiled plastic knife works fairly well. Another note of caution – these muffins are so good you might just eat them all at once…. :-)

December 9, 2010 at 1:22 PM 3 comments

Tis the Season…

…to step it up and rock some PR’s before 2010 is over!! We had the opportunity to do a CrossFit Total yesterday, hitting 1 rep max’s on the backsquat, shoulder press and deadlift. I did my first ever CFT back in January, almost a year ago, wow time flies! On that CFT I squatted 165, pressed 75 and deadlifted 205, for a CFT score of 445.  This time I squatted 220, pressed 80, and deadlifted 245, for a CFT score of 545. In all honesty I might be able to get 5lbs on my squat and DL, but I’ve still got 3 weeks before I start making my New Year’s resolutions for 2011. One of my 2010 goals was to backsquat 250, so I’m still 30lbs short, but definitely a lot closer than I was in January! :-)  Becca had an impressive CFT as well, hitting 140 on her backsquat, 80 on her press, and 250 on her deadlift – which btw was a 25lb PR for her! Total CFT score 470, up from her January total of 375 (125 backsquat, 70 press, 180 DL).

We also have a couple other PR’s to boast about…. for me, I got a new maximum height box jump on Monday – 43 inches! And Becca stayed after the CFT yesterday for ladies night where they worked on the split jerk, and she rocked a PR with a 130lb split jerk  – good work babe! :-)

It’s interesting to note that neither of us have really been doing strength programming since we stopped doing Wendler at ACF, until very recently when Becca started doing it on her own again. I personally feel that if you want to improve your strength in specific areas and specific lifts, the strength programming makes a big difference – makes me wonder where we’d be on our CFT if we’d been doing programming all year! But you know, every day is a new opportunity to grow and push yourself, and we’re ready for the challenge :-)

December 8, 2010 at 4:02 PM Leave a comment

Mmmm Paleo-licious!

So Becca decided that she wanted to try eating strict paleo as of December 1st (today) and stick with it until Christmas. Me being the amazing girlfriend I am haha – and considering how much easier it is to share food and because I know I should eat paleo – I decided to jump back on the paleo wagon with her. Of course, this means I need to dig deep inside myself and find the will power to pass by the countless bags of delectable looking christmas chocolates in the grocery store aisles, resist the urge to drink eggnog by the carton (and spike it with baileys lol), and even fore-go my daily advent calendar chocolates – which, by the way, we’ve decided we’re both going to eat all 25 chocolates on Christmas day :-) Will it be worth it? I think so. I’ve done paleo before and I noticed an improvement in my overall well-being, and with how low my energy levels have been and how much my joints have been bothering me lately, I could use a little health boost. So in honor of starting fresh, I’m posting a couple “Paleo-licious” recipes – try them, you’ll like them!

BBQ Pork Ribs

We just had these for dinner tonight – yummmy!! We were craving “bad” food and the BBQ sauce on these babies hit the spot. The secret? Organicville’s agave nectar sweetened BBQ sauce, which can be found in Hannaford’s health food section or at the Co-op. Organicville makes other sauces too, but check the ingredients, the BBQ sauce checks out fine, but the teriyaki sauce, sadly, doesn’t make the cut :-( Another note of caution – ribs can be an iffy paleo meat because they can be very fatty, so when you get your ribs, make sure they’re as lean as you can get them.

Organicville Original BBQ Sauce

For this we got a nice lean 4.5 lb rack of pork spare ribs, which we had to cut in half to fit into two baking dishes. Crank your oven up to 350 degrees, brush a coat of sauce on the ribs, and throw them in the oven, preferably on the middle or lower rack. Let them cook for about 1 hour, then take them out and brush another coat of sauce on. Let them cook for another 30-45 minutes until the meat is tender and white all the way through (no pink). Grab a handful of napkins and dig in!

 

Fudge Babies!!

1 cup walnuts
1 and 1/3 cups pitted dates
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I sometimes add an extra teaspoon)
3-4 tablespoons cocoa powder depending on how chocolatey you want the balls to be

Throw all the ingredients into a food processor, bullet, ninja etc, and blend. Then roll the dough into bite-size balls of yumminess! You can also form them into brownie-like bars, but once they’re formed into whatever shape you desire, they’re ready to eat! Refrigerate them to keep. I actually like to let them set in the fridge for a bit before I eat them :-)

December 1, 2010 at 11:59 PM Leave a comment

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