Monday 140908

Warm-up

Shoulder Prehab

3 sets – 30 sec on/30 secs rest of:

Bat Wing
Wall Slides
Face Pulls
Planks

Workout

220px-Barbara_Bush_portraitbarbara2Jeannie
From Bloomberg

Is CrossFit Dangerous?

In early 2012, 54 members of Fit Club, a gym in Columbus, Ohio, went to a lab at Ohio State University. The volunteers, all of whom followed the intense group workout regimen known as CrossFit, left blood samples, tested their maximum oxygen capacity, and had their body fat measured. They went through a round of measured workouts at Fit Club, too. Then, for 70 days, they performed a routine of Olympic lifts with a barbell, did calisthenics and strength work on gymnastics rings, and swung teapot-shaped weights over their heads. Forty-three subjects returned to the lab for analysis. The results were remarkable.

The academic article that followed, “CrossFit-Based High-Intensity Power Training Improves Maximal Aerobic Fitness and Body Composition,” shed scientific light on why CrossFit has grown from 250 affiliate gyms in 2007 to more than 10,000 today. At all levels of fitness, the Ohio volunteers lost body fat and increased oxygen capacity. “It was pretty impressive,” says Mitch Potterf, the gym’s owner. “People had improved quite a bit.”

Potterf is now suing two of the study’s authors—Michael Smith and Steven Devor, both of Ohio State—and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), which published the article. The suit claims

Read more Monday 140908

Wednesday 140611

Workout
Barbara

Compare to: Tuesday 140211

10 Things You Didn’t Know about CrossFit

1) You don’t have to already be in great shape to start doing it.“I want to try CrossFit but I have to get in shape first” is a common refrain among the CrossFit-curious. Six months go by, and then they realize that the “getting in shape first” thing isn’t happening. They screw up their courage and dive in, only to find that they’re not allowed to use heavy weight until they’ve mastered the movements. A year later, they slap themselves for giving up half a year of progress, waiting to start.

2) Age is not a barrier. Fifty- and sixty-somethings, generally wiser and more cautious than their twenty-something counterparts, can make dramatic gains in fitness. For them, the benefits of stronger bones, more muscle mass and less fat around the middle are about health, quality of life and functional independence. As one trainer says of his senior citizen athletes, “Everyone needs to squat – that’s how you get up and down from the toilet.”

3) Function trumps aesthetics. Most CrossFit gyms don’t have mirrors. The focus is on what your body can do, vs. how you look in spandex. Fitness goals map to the physical demands of real life: lifting a suitcase into the overhead luggage compartment (the same movement as an Olympic clean-and-jerk), moving boxes of books or chasing a toddler. It’s a relief for most women to get away from body-image-is-everything.

4) There’s an emphasis on technique. With beginners, CrossFit coaches are more like ballet masters than drill sergeants. Their goal is to train movement patterns that safely translate energy into physical capability. Newcomers used to hearing “Feel the burn!” over music are surprised at continual cues to flare out their knees, shift weight from their toes to their heels, and alter their grip. Subtle changes in form can make a huge difference. This spills over into posture and movement outside the gym.

5) It’s not just physical training. It’s also mental. The ritual of CrossFit’s Workouts of the Day (WODs) is about groups of people just getting through it. Pushing yourself is physically uncomfortable. Doing this repeatedly, week-in-week-out, is like allergy shots for stress. You learn that physical discomfort won’t kill you – that there’s a difference between a true physical limit and aaah-this-just-sucks. If you practice, you can learn to ignore the voice in your head that says aaah-this-just-sucks. Knowing you’re tough enough to do that – especially when none of your friends or co-workers suspects your secret streak of Die Hard badass – is gratifying.

6) It’s dog heaven for former athletes. Some of the most passionate CrossFitters played high school or college sports: wrestling, gymnastics, track, and all kinds of ball. Part of what drew them to CrossFit was missing the feeling of being on a team, going to practice and having a coach. Former athletes (especially middle-aged ones) love CrossFit, because it gives them back their varsity letter.

7) It’s OK to shop around. CrossFit gyms are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. They share a training methodology, but culture varies widely. A small CrossFit box in the suburbs will have a different vibe than a cavernous warehouse box in an industrial park, or a retail storefront in the city. Some gyms are more geared to athletes training for CrossFit competitions. Some are more laid-back and social. If there are five CrossFit gyms near your home and work, pick the closest one and take the introductory course or class. But don’t sign up for a monthly membership right away. Sample what different gyms have to offer. Consider repeating the on-ramp class somewhere else. Find the vibe that resonates with you. Because ultimately, you’ll probably end up becoming friends with people there. Of course, if your friends are the reason you’re trying CrossFit in the first place, X probably marks the spot.

8) Kid-friendly gyms are grown-up friendly gyms. When there are a lot of CrossFit options in the area, look for gyms that have a CrossFit Kids program. CrossFit Kids classes mean coaches have been certified to teach kids how to deadlift dowels. They are therefore likely to be patient with grownups who don’t immediately Get It. Also, CrossFit Kids classes mean the gym is multi-generational: there are grade-schoolers, moms and dads and probably a few grandparents mixed in with the twenty-somethings. Surprisingly, a lot of those moms can smoke their young single counterparts. It’s pretty impressive to see shirtless forty-something dads with six-pack abs (but then, I’m a forty-something mom, so that appeals to me).

9) Veteran and charity events signal a box is run by Good People. When a CrossFit gym participates in TeamRWB’s WOD With Warriors, Memorial Day Murph, or fund-raisers for local non-profits, it’s a sign that the owners care about their local community. Boxes that organize community events (especially ones that include non-CrossFitters) tend to be more friendly and inclusive. (Full disclosure: I’m a fan of TeamRWB and am donating a portion of the proceeds from Learning to Breathe Fire to this nonprofit organization).

10) The gym’s refrigerator is filled with member subscriptions to pre-prepared Paleo meals. Culinary start-ups around the country have figured out that CrossFitters a) love the Paleo Diet and b) are willing to spend a lot of money on healthy food. So these companies have installed glass-front fridges in CrossFit boxes and use these fridges as drop-off points for boxed Paleo cuisine, available by subscription. This is one of the reasons CrossFitters find it so easy to cut carbs – their lunches have already been packed.

Check out JC Herz’s other articles: Yoga and CrossFit: the Yin and Yang of Fitness and Why Your Girlfriend is So Obsessed with Crossfit.

Tuesday 140211

Workout
barbara3Jeanniebarbiebarbara2STANWYCK2-L

Yup…that’s right!

Five rounds, each for time of:
20 Pull-ups
30 Push-ups
40 Sit-ups
50 Squats
Rest three (3) minutes between each round.
Post time for each round (not including the 3:00 rest)

Compare to: Thursday 121129

Don’t kill the messenger…from The New York Times

Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex?

By LORI GOTTLIEB

Photo illustration by Craig Cutler for The New York Times

Not long ago, I was at a dinner party with several couples in their 40s, all married except for my boyfriend and me. The mood was jovial until, over dessert, one guest made an offhand joke about Internet porn.

His wife took issue, and during a tense back-and-forth between them, the rest of us sensed that we were about to learn way too much about their personal lives. Fortunately, another husband deftly maneuvered to a safe topic for middle-aged parents (kids and screen time!), and after a lively discussion about iPads, we made our excuses to leave.

In the car, I turned to my boyfriend and said, “I bet there won’t be any sex happening in their bedroom tonight.”

He smiled and shook his head. He predicted that the hosts would be the least likely to have sex that night.

I thought he was kidding. This couple were my “model marrieds,” true equals who share the housework and child care, communicate openly and prioritize each other’s careers. The best friends of happy-couple cliché. Earlier in the evening, I watched them work together in the kitchen, cheerfully cooking and cleaning: She bringing out the hors d’oeuvres, and he chopping and dicing. When their 6-year-old woke up with a nightmare, they wordlessly agreed that he would be the one to soothe her. It was the kind of marriage many people wish for.

In one study, 34 percent of adulterous women said they were ‘happy’ in their marriages.

“Exactly,” my boyfriend said. “Least likely.”

Marriage is hardly known for being an aphrodisiac, of course, but my boyfriend was referring to a particularly modern state of marital affairs. Today, according to census data, in 64 percent of U.S. marriages with children under 18, both husband and wife work. There’s more gender-fluidity when it comes to who brings in the money, who does the laundry and dishes, who drives the car pool and braids the kids’ hair, even who owns the home. A vast majority of adults under 30 in this country say that this is a good thing, according to a Pew Research Center survey: They aspire to what’s known in the social sciences as an egalitarian marriage, meaning that both spouses work and take care of the house and that the relationship is built on equal power, shared interests and friendship. But the very qualities that lead to greater emotional satisfaction in peer marriages, as one sociologist calls them, may be having an unexpectedly negative impact on these couples’ sex lives.

A study called “Egalitarianism, Housework and Sexual Frequency in Marriage,” which appeared Read more Tuesday 140211

Monday 130520

Workout

Dead Lift
Use 90% of your 1 RM and complete
5 x65%
5 x75%
AMRAP x85%

MetCon
Midday – 3 Rounds of Barbara
Evening – Helen

From Runner’s World

How Good of a Workout is CrossFit?

Some physiological data from one popular workout.

By Scott Douglas Published

May 17, 2013
Push-Up

The value of CrossFit for runners has been hotly debated the past couple of years. Is CrossFit a good supplement to running? A replacement for running? A small study conducted in Alabama provides some useful real-world information on what happens physiologically during a CrossFit workout.

Nine adults who had been doing regular CrossFit sessions for at least three months did a popular CrossFit workout known as “Cindy.” It consists of doing a set of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats, and repeating that set as many times as possible within 20 minutes.

During the workout, the exercisers reached an average intensity of 63% of VO2max, Read more Monday 130520