Tuesday 140225

Workout

Fore!

In front of a clock set for 14 minutes:

4 minutes of clean and jerks, 135 M/95 Scaled M and  F /65  Scaled F/45 Newbies
1 minute rest

4 minutes of rowing (Cals)
1 minute rest

4 minutes of Burpees

Post sum of clean and jerk reps, rowing calories and Burpee reps to comments.

CrossFit’s main page does not include the minute rest between the first 2 sets.  As this is our first attempt at this bad boy, take the rest to write down your score.  next time we will do it without the rest.

Tomorrow’s WOD has mountain climbers.

From PSMag

Girls’ Immune Systems Rule, Boys Drool

BY MICHAEL WHITE • January 24, 2014 • 8:00 AM

sick-man-healthy-woman

(Photo: Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock)

Why do women have such stronger immune systems than men?

What makes men and women different? Some differences are obviously biological, such as anatomy and the genetics of X and Y chromosomes. Other differences are social, the result of culture and history. And sometimes the reason men and women differ isn’t so clear. Disease often affects men and women differently, and in many cases it is difficult to know whether the cause is social, biological, or both—and this poses a challenge to medical researchers who struggle to account for the impact of gender on medical outcomes.

The reasons for differences between men and women in the incidence of some diseases are clear-cut. Lung cancer rates are higher among menfor purely social reasons: until recently, men were more likely than women to smoke. On the other hand, the fact that the blood-clotting disorder hemophilia occurs almost exclusively in males is the result of genetics—the disease is caused by a mutation in a gene on the X chromosome. Women, with two X chromosomes, have a back-up version of this gene, while men, with only one X chromosome, don’t.

But Read more Tuesday 140225

Friday 140421

Warm-up

Snatch Balance – work to 75/55.  work on SPEED under the bar!

4 sets of 3 reps – stay light as we are Snatching heavy tomorrow.

Workout

BSquat

5 sets of 5 reps @80% of 1RM

As Burpeeuary come to a close, get you Burpees in…

From PJ Media

Forget What You’ve Heard: 4 Reasons Why Full Squats Save Your Knees

Hips below knees, back more horizontal. No, it’s not what your trainer told you.

by MARK RIPPETOE Bio February 21, 2014 – 10:48 am

 Squat5

(image credit: Thomas Campitelli, The Aasgaard Company 2013)

The idea that below-parallel squats are bad for the knees is complete nonsense that for some reason will not go away. This mythology is mindlessly repeated by orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, registered nurses, personal trainers, dieticians, sportscasters, librarians, lunch-room monitors, and many other people in positions of authority with no actual knowledge of the topic and no basis in fact for their opinion.

I have been teaching the below-parallel squat for 37 years, and have taught hundreds of thousands of people — in my gym, through my books and videos, and in my seminars — to safely perform the most important exercise in the entire catalog of resistance training. Yet here in 2014, well into the 21st century, westill hear completely uninformed people — who have had ample opportunity to educate themselves yet have failed to do so — advise against performing squats under the assumption that they look scary or hard and are therefore “bad for the knees.

Here are four reasons why this is not true, and why you should immediately start squatting correctly if you entertain the notion that you’d like to be stronger. 

1. The “deep” (hips below the level of the knees) squat is an anatomically normal position for the human body.

It is used as a resting position for millions of people everywhere, and they squat into it and rise out of it every time. There is nothing harmful about either assuming a squatting position — whether sitting down in a chair or into an unsupported squat — or returning to a standing position afterward.

If you look at the knees and hips, you’ll notice that they seem suspiciously well-adapted to doing this very thing. Infants and children squat down below parallel all the time in the absence of pediatric medical intervention. These things should indicate to the thinking person that there is nothing inherently harmful in assuming this anatomically normal position. The fact that you haven’t been squatting is no reason to seek justification for not having done so.

The world powerlifting record for the squat is over 1,000 pounds. My friend Ellen Stein has squatted 400 at the age of 60 at a bodyweight of 132 pounds. Everybody seems to be okay.

Yes, friends, we’ve been squatting since we’ve had knees and hips, and the development of the toilet just reduced the range of motion a little. The comparatively recent innovation of gradually loading this natural movement with a barbell doesn’t mean that it will hurt you, if you do it correctly.

You don’t get to do the squat incorrectly and then tell everybody that squatting hurt your knees.

Disclaimer: This discussion refers specifically to the strength training version of the movement, the one designed to make you progressively stronger by lifting progressively heavier weights. If you are doing hundreds of reps of unweighted squats, your knees and everything else are going to be unavoidably and exquisitely sore.

squat1

(image credit: Thomas Campitelli, The Aasgaard Company 2013)

2. The correct squat is a hips-dependent movement, not a knees movement.

The knees obviously have to bend if you squat down, but they are not loaded the same way the hips are. The hips absorb and redirect the majority of the stress if you do the movement correctly by pushing the hips back. The hip muscles consist of all of the glute muscles, all the internal hip muscles, the hamstrings, and the groin muscles (the adductors). This large muscle mass adapts to squatting just like all muscles adapt to exercise — they get stronger. The correctly performed squat shoves the knees out to the side and the hips back, placing most of the load on the hips and completely protecting the knees from whatever it is that everybody is afraid of.

This position also places the back at a more horizontal angle than is typically recognized as correct by most personal trainers. The squat is thus a back exercise. The hip-bone’s connected to the back-bone, and if the hips are going to do the work, they have to be in a position that also loads the back. The squat is supposed to stress the back. It’s a back exercise. The back muscles get strong along with everything else as the weight goes up. If you don’t exercise the back muscles, they can’t get strong. Strong back muscles keep you from hurting your back, and the squat is a basic back exercise.

3. The full squat is not only safe for the knees, it is the best exercise for knee health you can do.

Squats are regarded as the basic lower-body exercise by strength athletes because nothing else compares to its ability to strengthen the structure of the knee — the muscles, tendons, bones, and ligaments that form the knee anatomy.

The muscles on the front of the thigh are the quadriceps. They attach below the knee to the “tibial tuberosity” — the bump at the top of the shin bone — just below the kneecap. When they pull this bone forward, the knee extends and the force at the tendon attachment is directed forward relative to the joint. In contrast, the hamstrings pull backwards on either side of the knee at their attachments, which balances the forward force from the quads. This happens in a correct squat when the hips move back and the torso leans forward. The balance of forces is optimum at a position just below parallel, and protects the joint so well that a correct squat can be safely performed even without an ACL. (I don’t have one.)

Squat3

(image credit: Thomas Campitelli, The Aasgaard Company 2013)

4. Partial squats are performed with a more vertical back angle that does not permit the hamstrings to tighten and protect the knees.

Partial squats usually leave the hamstrings out of the exercise, because they are usually thought of as an exercise for the “quads.” This is muscle-group thinking instead of movement-pattern thinking. The beauty of the squat is that it works so much more than just one muscle group.

Since a partial squat doesn’t require you to move the load very far or to use the hard part of the exercise’s range of motion, it allows the use of much heavier weights. Kids playing around in the gym will always squat this way, and it doesn’t help that most of the personal trainers in the gym think partial squats are not only okay, but correct.

Unfortunately, high school football players under the guidance of coaches motivated by the lust for a defensive line that “squats” 500 pounds are often subjected to more spinal loading than their young backs are prepared for. As a general rule, if the bar is so heavy that you cannot squat below parallel with it and stand back up, it’s too heavy to have on your back.

The below-parallel squat is unparalleled for the development of strength, balance, bone density, and health. It works all the muscles in the body at the same time, while allowing increasingly heavier loads to do the magic of progressive adaptation. If you are afraid of squats, you need to rethink the situation.

Thursday 140220

Remember performing BSquat’s to Moby’s “Sally”?  Well today, for our “warm-up” and “cool down” we will perform Burpees to The Police’s “Roxanne”.  It only 27 Burpees over 3:00+ each time.  So it is very doable.  Get your mind right party people.  Hey who wants to drink beer to “Roxanne” afterwards?!

Workout

Tabata Fun!

Lateral Box Steps
Lunges

Body Row
Rear Delt Raise

Plank
Superman

Battle Rope
Air Squats

Med Ball Toss
Med Ball Chest Pass

From Slate

I’m a Luger, Baby

I went to Lake Placid to sled like an Olympian. It was totally terrifying—and unbelievably fun.

 140205_RING_SethLuge
The author, ready to luge

Courtesy of Seth Stevenson

Of the 15 sports in the Winter Games, surely the most relatable is the luge. There are many among us who have never snowboarded. Very few have tried curling. And I imagine that only a handful of us—people whom I hope never to encounter—go cross-country skiing with high-powered rifles strapped to our backs. Yet I would wager that any American child who has seen snow has also at some point attempted to sled down a hill.

Luge is essentially sledding at the Olympic level. Of course, the luge course isn’t actually a hill—it’s a chute that resembles a giant Krazy Straw. And the luge sled isn’t some dog-nibbled plastic saucer—it’s a finely tuned chariot with precision-honed steel runners. Luge is, in fact, the Platonic ideal of the sledding experience. I know, because last March, after pleading with the U.S. Olympic team, I got to try it myself.

I went to the Olympic training center in Lake Placid, N.Y., site of the 1980 Winter Games, and was met at U.S. luge team headquarters by Gordy Sheer. Sheer is currently marketing director for the United States Luge Association, but in his youth he won a silver medal in men’s doubles luge at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.* (Doubles luge is the Platonic ideal of sharing a small plastic saucer sled with your younger brother.) He promised to give me enough preliminary instruction to help me avoid embarrassing or maiming myself when I went out on the track.

We began at the team’s refrigerated indoor space. This warehouse-like room is the only such facility in the United States and one of about six in the world, according to Sheer. It mimics the first 100 feet or so of a luge course, with actual ice, allowing the luge athletes (cool kids call them “sliders”) to hone their start techniques. Sheer led me up some metal stairs to the elevated starting gate and sat me on a sled. Here, we practiced the propulsive launch that makes for a successful run. You grab a pair of bars on the sides of the gate with your hands and glide the sled’s runners back on the ice, coiling yourself so your chest presses down toward your knees. Then you rocket yourself forward with a smooth and powerful release.

At least, that’s the plan. My first few efforts left me in a gangly tangle of sled and human, careening dangerously toward the edges of the track. I’d dismount, lug 30-odd pounds of sled back up the staircase, and try again. Soon enough I’d figured out to sacrifice oomph for control as I settled for a less explosive but more accurate start. I eventually even learned to fairly smoothly transition from the seated start position into the supine riding position I’d be assuming for the length of the run.

As we toured the team facility, preparing to leave for the real course, we passed a complex-looking device with wires coming out of it. I asked Sheer what it was. He politely but firmly said, “Please don’t photograph that,” and then explained it was a “balance point” machine that analyzes the weight distribution of the sled. Top-secret tech.

It turns out luge is a sport rife with spying. The composition of the steel in the sleds’ runners is a proprietary secret, a recipe perfected through spectral analysis and kept from prying eyes. The geometry of the sleds themselves is jealously guarded. I met Duncan Kennedy, the luge team’s technical development manager (or, as he refers to himself, “chief sled tinkerer”), and got an earful of stories about luge espionage. “I’ve been up in trees with binoculars looking at other teams’ sleds,” he chuckles. “One time a German”—the Germans are acknowledged masters of luge—“left his sled unattended on a shuttle up to the top of the mountain. There were hands all over it.”

But now it was time to hit the actual course. We hopped in Sheer’s car and took a short drive to the nearby Mt. Van Hoevenberg, where the track is carved into the slope, surrounded by forest. Sheer brought me to a starting gate that feeds into the course about halfway down, so I wouldn’t be able to gather enough speed in my run to hurt myself too badly.

140205_RING_MtVanHoevenberg

The track at Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, N.Y. Here, a four-man bobsleigh team competes during the World Cup Bobsleigh.   Photo by Ezra Shaw/Allsport/Getty Images

At the most recent Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, a Georgian slider died on the course when he Read more Thursday 140220

Monday 140217

Workout

4x
4:00 AMRAP of:
3-GI Janes
6-Pistols (3 per leg, alternating)
9-Step-ups
Rest 2:00

From The LA Times

As marijuana laws change, health risks of pot use are weighed

As more states relax marijuana laws, studies support the belief that pot is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. But that’s a low bar, some health experts say.

 Greater use of marijuana
By Chris Woolston February 14, 2014, 2:30 p.m.

Now that people in Colorado (and, soon, Washington state) can buy marijuana about as easily as they can pick up a 12-pack of Bud Light, it’s a good time to ask: How risky is it to turn to pot?

President Obama has already shared his opinion, telling the New Yorker magazine, “I don’t think [marijuana] is more dangerous than alcohol.” The president’s opinion stands in stark contrast with official federal policy that still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, putting it in the same class as heroin and LSD.

In this case, the president seems to be more correct than the government, says Richard Miller, professor of pharmacology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “No question about it,” Miller says. “It’s absolutely clear that marijuana is much less dangerous than alcohol.”

According to Miller, marijuana is the safer choice whether you’re using it for a single night or a lifetime. “When people drink alcohol, they often get out of control and get violent. They crash their cars and beat their wives. But when people smoke marijuana, they get very relaxed and mellow.”

Roughly 10% of people who try marijuana will eventually run into trouble, says Dr. Christian Hopfer, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora. That’s about the same odds that a drinker will abuse alcohol, he says, but there’s a big difference: Alcoholism causes far more physical and emotional devastation.

The signs of marijuana addiction are subtle, he says. Adults who smoke heavily — as in four or five time a day, every day — tend to have trouble learning, remembering and dealing with complicated tasks. “They’re definitely impaired,” Hopfer says. “They organize their lives around using.”

Fortunately, the habit is breakable. “A lot of people who use marijuana heavily in their 20s eventually quit on their own,” he says. “It’s probably easier than stopping [tobacco] smoking.”

The toll seems to be worse for young brains. According to Hopfer, adolescents who smoke a lot of marijuana can expect to lose about 8 points from their IQ. Young users also seem to be more likely to become psychotic in later years, although the risk is still small. “About one user in a thousand will end up with a psychotic illness that they wouldn’t have had otherwise,” he says.

As reported in November in Current Psychiatric Reports, marijuana can threaten physical health too, although the dangers appear to be mostly small and unpredictable. After summing up studies over the last 15 years, researchers at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found evidence linking marijuana to lung disease, heart disease and other ailments, but the actual risks were hard to pin down. For example, one study suggested that smoking a single joint increases the odds of a heart attack within the next hour, but other studies have failed to find any sign that marijuana users are more likely than non-users to suffer a heart attack over the long term.

The report also noted some growing but inconclusive evidence that long-term marijuana use could increase the risk of cancer in the lungs, bladder, head and neck. The authors noted, however, that marijuana doesn’t seem to be in the same league as tobacco when it comes to the potential to cause cancer — another comparison that was practically guaranteed to cast marijuana in a positive light.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine suggests that even heavy marijuana users aren’t necessarily a sickly bunch. The study looked at nearly 600 primary-care patients who had tested positive for marijuana or another illicit drug. Chronic marijuana smokers were just as healthy as occasional smokers and weren’t any more likely to have had a recent stint in the ER or a hospital bed.

The president’s pot analysis may have been accurate, but it wasn’t necessarily helpful, says Dr. Timothy Naimi, an associate professor of medicine and community health sciences at Boston University School of Medicine.

“Saying marijuana’s safer than alcohol sets an incredibly low bar,” Naimi says, adding that alcohol kills about 80,000 people a year. “Marijuana can still be a dangerous substance.”

While the risks of marijuana may be relatively small for each individual user, Naimi believes problems are likely to grow with access to the drug. “It’s five times more potent than the pot I grew up with. We’ve lowered the price and increased the supply. I’m not for or against legalization, but those are red flags.”

Supporters of legalization often say marijuana should be as freely available as beer or whiskey. But Naimi says the nation’s experience with alcohol isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of lax regulations and easy access to mind-altering substances. Instead, he says, the toll of alcohol should “give pause” to anyone hoping to bring marijuana to the masses.

Saturday 140215

Workout

Twelve minute AMRAP of:
5-135 lbs Hang Squat Cleans
5-TTB
5-Ring Dips

We have past the half way mark for this month.  If you are not yet at 300+ Burpees, time to get your Burpees on!

From The New York Times

Seeking the Keys to Longevity in ‘What Makes Olga Run?’ 

Olga Kotelko competing in the Masters Games in 2009. She holds 26 world records.
Rick Rycroft/Associated PressOlga Kotelko competing in the Masters Games in 2009. She holds 26 world records.

No one would mistake Olga Kotelko for one of the Olympians competing in Sochi, Russia, but at age 94, she holds more world records than most: 26, to be exact, including age-group bests in the high jump, the hammer throw and the 200-meter run. Not bad for someone who took up track and field at age 77.

Bruce Grierson met Ms. Kotelko in 2010 while writing about her for The New York Times Magazine, and swiftly became obsessed. His interest was personal. The title of his previous book, “U-Turn: What If You Woke Up One Morning and Realized You Were Living the Wrong Life?,” might also describe his mind-set at the time. He was 47 and had abruptly realized that he could no longer see his feet beneath his growing potbelly. His stamina, drive, memory, even the hair on his head, were disappearing, too.

“Whatever was happening with her,” he writes in the prologue of his latest book,“was the opposite of what was happening to me.” If he could identify the reasons she was aging so well, perhaps he could reset his own course.

Eventually, they struck a deal: “We would explore the mystery of her together. She would offer herself up to science while I took notes.” The result is this jolly book, which follows the pair as they consult researchers in fields like gerontology, exercise physiology and genetics for insights into Ms. Kotelko’s remarkable youthfulness.

What they find are countless opinions, but little definitive proof. Genes, diet, temperament, the theories abound. (Mr. Grierson rules out performance-enhancing drugs.) Or maybe it’s the exercise itself.

Research on twins suggests that heredity accounts for only about 25 percent to 30 percent of longevity, so it is not enough simply to label Ms. Kotelko a “genetic freak.” Besides, tests show she lacks at least one gene associated with longevity, and it turns out that her telomeres, chromosome caps that shorten with age, are merely average in length.

As for her diet, it is abundant and promiscuous. Her staples include red meat, sauerkraut, cottage cheese and sour milk, and she eats “immoderate amounts” of tapioca pudding. A centenarian friend of hers, the Australian shot-putter Ruth Frith, eschews vegetables altogether.

Ms. Kotelko’s kitchen contains a few promising items (probiotic bacteria in her beloved fermented foods might bolster her immune system; zinc in the beef and nuts she devours could possibly offer some protection against Alzheimer’s disease). But readers looking for dietary tips will find little satisfaction here.

Among the potential anti-aging elixirs Mr. Grierson explores, exercise appears most potent. This old standby doesn’t just keep hearts pumping and muscles strong; studies suggest it may protect the mind, too, by promoting the formation of neurons in the hippocampus — a part of the brain associated with memory. “For building cognition, Sudoku is a shovel, and exercise is a bulldozer,” Mr. Grierson writes.

Since she began her track and field career, Ms. Kotelko has rarely remained still, and that active lifestyle may be more important than her workouts at the track. “Both Olga and I exercise, but she moves when she’s not exercising, and I don’t,” Mr. Grierson writes. “Olga is older than I am. But 95 percent of the time, I am getting olderfaster than she is.” Burgeoning research on the inactivity epidemic suggests that one important habit he could acquire is standing up.

The book concludes with a tidy list of “rules for living.” The nine maxims, which include “keep moving,” “believe in something,” “don’t do it if you don’t love it” and “begin now” — convey nothing that a consumer of health news and popular psychology hasn’t already heard a million times. Perhaps that’s the point.

For now, the best anti-aging tools science can offer are habits we already know we should be doing, but perhaps, like Mr. Grierson, are not: exercising regularly, sleeping enough, limiting sedentary behavior and maintaining meaningful social connections. To his credit, the author does not oversell the still-unfolding science of aging, and he’s quick to acknowledge that a single example cannot explain why some people age better than others.

While this book provides an accessible overview of the current science on aging, its charm comes from the tale of a woman who refuses to hang up her track shoes, and the younger man she inspires to stop acting so old. In one of the book’s most engrossing chapters, Mr. Grierson decides to enter the 10,000-meter run (6.2 miles) at the 2011 World Masters Athletics competition in Sacramento, Calif. He runs “like a hairy goat” and finishes second to last, but he gains an important insight: These competitions are about the camaraderie.

“Comfort doesn’t promote togetherness,” he writes. “Discomfort does.” Strong social ties track with longevity, and the confidence derived from finishing a race probably doesn’t hurt either.

Ms. Kotelko turns 95 next month. No one would blame her if she chose to rest on her laurels; instead she’s looking forward to chasing more records when she enters the next age group, 95 to 99.

I finished this quick read on my birthday, after cross-country skiing my age in kilometers. Since I began this annual tradition in my early 30s, people have asked me at what age I will quit. This book convinced me that the answer is “never.”

Friday 140214

Happy VD!  Yes I know.

For the “No Sweat Friday” crowd

DL
65% x5
75% x5
85% x5
75% x5
65% x5

Everyone Else

4x
2:00 Row
2:00 “Rest”
“Rest” – 1st “rest” Box Jumps/2nd “rest” Burpees/ 3rd “rest” KB Swings/ 4th “rest” Air Squats

AFTER
Press

80% x4 x5
I’ve long believed that you don’t have to become a weightlifter in order to become good at weightlifting. In fact, as the years go by and I watch athletes around me continue to increase their abilities to what seems like extraordinary levels for a non-competitive weightlifter, it solidifies my belief even more. This belief is especially true for those that are interested in reaping the benefits of this sport for application towards other activities such as CrossFit. What athletes do need, however, is a sound understanding of the framework in which they operate and organized practice on a regular basis. These pieces are vital to maximizing success while allowing the athlete to be efficient with their time. Courtney Walker (@walkercourtney5), Regional competitor and CrossFit Games candidate, demonstrates these points with her most recent PRs of 75kg/165lbs snatch and 91kg/200lbs hang clean&jerk at 57kg/125lbs bodyweight. So very proud of her continued success. And did I mention that it’s just bada$s?

Friday 140207

Workout
2000m row – Set damper at 1 and do not strap in.

BSquat
60% x5 x5
it is light so work on getting proper depth on each rep

Throw in 10 Burpees between working sets…

Thanks Chris Ann for the link.  From Fit Nation

Why the toughest CrossFit women are rarely toothpicks.

I’m no toothpick. And I’m not trying to become one by doing CrossFit.

I CrossFit because I’m thick but strong, and I like being strong, and in the CrossFit community, being able to lift heavy things is seen as something great. So I fit in.

For me, it’s a place where I don’t have to hide that I want to be powerful, strong, a superhero. It’s also a place where I don’t have to hide the generous circumference of my thighs.

I want to give every woman out there, no matter what you look like, permission to say, out loud: “I want to be a bad ass.” Go ahead, say it. I’ll say it with you. My mid-30s, mother-of-two-kids, casserole-making self still wants to feel like a superhero. No, not feel like one, I want to BE one. And I’ve pretty much wanted to my whole life.

When I was little, my mom signed me up for the Super Summer Soccer clinic. It was the early 80s and soccer was still catching on in the U.S., so I was the only girl on my team. I remember being vaguely confused about which way I should face and which goal was mine, but by the end of the summer I got the “most improved player” trophy. After the awards ceremony, one of my fellow kindergarten athletes proffered this compliment: “I don’t usually like girls, but you’re ok.” That was the first time I felt like a bad ass.

Through college and into my late 20s, I played intramural soccer. I loved being part of a team. I loved the way the better players pushed me and made me run so hard my lungs burned. I secretly imagined myself at the Olympics, the World Cup, ripping my shirt off after making a winning goal while my rock-hard abs glistened.

But I got older and life got complicated. I lost sports from my life. I had kids, a demanding job (or three) and I started to make excuses like: “I am so tired of paying team fees,” or “I just can’t fit it in at the end of the day.”

At the same time, I stopped meeting people my age that played on teams. Why is it that at 30, everyone stops playing sports and starts running marathons? I joined the herd, ran the marathons and biked the century rides and I liked it, but it wasn’t the same. I became a regular gym person. Aerobics classes. Free weights. Cardio machines. Repeat. God, it was boring.

Also, somewhere in there, I started to believe that a workout was about me carving my body into some acceptable shape. I lost the girl that played sports for the high of making a goal. It didn’t matter to me that I ran my first marathon, what mattered was that my dress size was in the double-digits while doing it.

I started hearing about CrossFit a few years ago. I did some powerlifting in college and I thought CrossFit sounded dangerous—doing heavy lifts as fast as you could. I mistrusted the weird lingo, old-fashioned, Arnold Schwarzenegger-inspired equipment and the Spartan decor of these “boxes.” Needless to say, I was not an early adopter.

But one day, my gym’s courtyard was populated by a group of very normal, but fit-looking ladies, working out. There was a lot of instruction going on—how to do a clean. How to squat correctly. They were pinwheeling their shoulders, shaking out their legs. There was a lot of encouragement, but not a lot of chatting. I stalked them for a bit. Then, I saw one of them do a kipping pull up.

I wanted so badly to fly up to that bar like she did. She looked like a bad ass. As a bottom-heavy weightlifter, nature made me for the squat and dead lift. I’d never done an unassisted pull up and I thought it wasn’t possible. But these ladies were doing it. I wanted in. The superhero in me woke up.

The rest is history.

What keeps me excited about CrossFit, even three years later, is its focus on the fun of working out, of play, of being an athlete. The CF culture values what you are able to do, not what you want to look like. Because if you want to do a 250-pound dead lift, you’re going to need the beefy legs to back it up.

For me, the reason why those lose-the-baby-weight workouts at the gym sucked was because I did them to become a different person, or at least a different version of myself. It was a chore, something I had to do. CrossFit, on the other hand, is about me rediscovering the strength I had all along, pushing my boundaries and proving to myself again and again that I am still strong and can still surprise myself. (And surprise my husband, who I text immediately every time I get a PR. His response—every single time—is “that’s my girl.”)

We CrossFit women are the high school jocks, the thick girls, the tomboys, the kids from the street who grew up tough. But it also IS for the toothpicks, the skinny girls who were never told that they could be bad assess too.

women carrying an other women workingout

Women love CrossFit, and I think it’s because it fights the odd misconception that we girls have some sort of aversion to hard workouts. Many of us would choose a hard workout over an easy one if it were more fun. We’re not all after the path of least resistance and most calories burned.

Triathlons, century rides, adventure races all appeal to the inner bad ass, too. But you can’t just walk in to a triathlon and from day one and feel like: “Holy crap. I just conquered something.” CrossFit can start giving you the gratification that comes after a long training season and a big race, but right away.

One of my best days was when I hit a back squat PR. I remember some of the girls gathered around, watching. They called me a beast. I don’t look like much; you’d never be intimated by me at the gym. But in the CrossFit community, I’m accepted as awesome during those heavy lifting days. Better yet, I have something to contribute. The girls ask me how to stand, how much weight they should go up. On those days, the girls that are slender look at me and wish they could do what I’m doing.

Other days, the twiggy girls are rocking out a billion handstand push-ups—a move where you do a handstand, against a wall, completely inverted and then try to make your body go up and down. And while I’m struggling to kick up onto the damn wall, they will come over and hold my legs up and tell me what to do.

I’ll tell you, there’s no high like the one that you get when you do something you’ve never done before. You feel it when the jump rope makes that zinging sound as it goes around twice, because another girl told you to focus on your wrists, not your feet. You’ll feel it when your chin finally gets above the pull-up bar because your coach told you to focus on rotating at your shoulder instead of pulling straight up.

That’s the feeling of being an athlete again. It’s reconfirming, over and over, that I work out for the fun of sport again. And now, doing another workout that focuses on the external just doesn’t seem good enough.

CrossFit women don’t look like toothpicks because this workout isn’t about how we look. It’s about who we are, and that looks different.

Thursday 140206

Yes…this Winter has been tough.  One week until pitchers and catchers report.  Spring is almost here.

Remember the Air Force WOD?  Today’s workout is designed just the same.

Workout

20-Dead Lifts
20-Hang Cleans
20-Front Squats
20-Jerks
20-Thrusters
Complete 4 Burpees EMOM
There is a twenty minute time cap.

Based on this, we should just turn off the heat at TitanFit.  From Healthday.com

Shivering, Like Exercise, May Help Boost Weight Loss

When you shiver, your body converts white fat to healthier brown fat, study finds

Shivering, Like Exercise, May Help Boost Weight LossWEDNESDAY, Feb. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) — If frigid weather is making you shiver, there’s an upside — it might also help you burn calories. Both moderate shivering and moderate exercise may convert bad white fat into healthier brown fat, a new study says.

White fat stores calories while brown fat burns them. For example, 50 grams of white fat stores more than 300 calories of energy, while the same amount of brown fat can burn up to 300 calories a day, explained researchers who conducted the study at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The study authors said their findings may lead to ways to activate brown fat so as to fight obesity and diabetes.

The investigators found that moderate exercise or shivering from being cold increased people’s levels of the hormones “irisin” (produced by muscle) and “FGF21” (produced by brown fat). Rises in irisin levels after 10 to 15 minutes of shivering were about the same as after an hour of moderate exercise on a stationary bicycle.

Laboratory tests showed that irisin and FGF21 turned human white fat cells into brown fat cells over six days, according to the study published Feb. 4 in the journal Cell Metabolism.

This ability to crank up metabolism has important health implications, the researchers suggested.

“Excitement in the brown fat field has risen significantly over the last few years because its energy-burning nature makes it a potential therapeutic target against obesity and diabetes,” Dr. Paul Lee, an endocrinologist from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia, said in an institute news release.

“White fat transformation into brown fat could protect animals against diabetes, obesity and fatty liver. Glucose [blood sugar] levels are lower in humans with more brown fat,” explained Lee, who conducted the study while at the NIH.

Babies have brown fat to help keep them warm. Until recently, it was thought that brown fat was lost in early infancy, but it’s now known that most or all adults still have brown fat, according to the news release. Adults with more brown fat are thinner than those with less of it.

“We speculate exercise could be mimicking shivering — because there is muscle contraction during both processes, and that exercise-stimulated irisin could have evolved from shivering in the cold,” Lee said.

Wednesday 140205

Workout

15 minutes of:

First 5:00 – 5-95 lbs Power Snatch
Middle 5:00 – 5-95 lbs Power Clean and Jerk
Last 5:00 – 5-95 lbs Thrusters

Get some Burpees…Rut and Grant already have 300+

TitanFit Trainers WOD…Dustin’s choice

10x
250m row
10-GI Janes

From CrossFit

TRADING POSING FOR PERFORMANCE

“If you’re too concerned with being successful, and you never test yourself, you’ll never get better.”

Photos courtesy of Ken Snow.

While watching Rich Froning’s symmetry, Dan Bailey’s muscularity and Scott Panchik’s definition at the 2013 Central East Regional, it hit him.

“The best bodybuilders in the world aren’t bodybuilding anymore,” professional bodybuilder Rich Lauro realized. “They’re (doing CrossFit.)”

Lauro dabbled in CrossFit before attending the Regional as a spectator, but after Read more Wednesday 140205

Tuesday 140204

Workout

FSquats – Find a 3 rep max

50-un-timed Burpees

From Forbes Magazine…

Don’t return calls from these area codes — it’s a scam!

Forbes

By Joseph Steinberg19 hours ago
 6c8475c1-3e9c-4f73-ac98-1af7736d8dd2_90677733
Thinkstock

A scam that repeats itself in modified forms every few years is once again spreading throughout the United Sates. Don’t be a victim!

Criminals target people simply by calling them. Intended victims receive a call on their phones from area code 473 which rings once and then disconnects, thereby arousing the call-recipient’s natural curiosity – “who just called me and from where?”  Sometimes the caller actually allows the phone to ring long enough for the victim to answer — after which the caller (or the caller’s robocaller system) makes groaning sounds or otherwise indicates that he or she is in distress and then hangs up, enticing the victim to wonder what is going on and call back.

If either of these happens to you – don’t call back.

While area code 473 may appear to be domestic, it is not. This area code was created in the late 1990s for the islands of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique, which, like the United States, use country code 1. Calls placed to 473 numbers are international calls and can be quite expensive – and, because the criminals sometimes establish the number which the victim sees on his or her caller ID as a premium service number – the rate can exceed $20 for the first minute!

473 is not the only area code from which this scam has been perpetrated. Beware calls coming in from area codes 809, 284, 649 and 876, which like 473 are international, and are known to have been used for similar scams. Of course, if you do not have a calling plan that includes calls to Canada, there are many other area codes for which you could be billed international dialing rates, but so-called “one ring,” “ring and run,” or “dial and disconnect” scams are not typically perpetrated using Canadian numbers.

If you have voicemail – as pretty much everyone does today – there is usually no reason to call back missed calls from numbers that you do not recognize, regardless of the area code from which they originated. If a caller has something important to say, he or she can leave a message identifying himself or herself (or send you a text message). Don’t let curiosity get the best of you.

“Ring and run” scams are not new; when 900 numbers and pagers were popular in the days before the proliferation of the Internet and cell phones (it’s hard to believe that was less than a generation ago), criminals would page people asking them to return calls to such numbers. Eventually, people learned not to call back anyone with a 900 number. Likewise, until shortly before the turn of the century, the Caribbean islands using the American country code 1 all used the same area code, 809; scams were perpetrated, but, after a while, people learned to avoid calling that single area code. The latest crop of scams exploits the advances in technology – the implementation of many new area codes makes it difficult for most people to recognize what is a domestic number and what is not, and the proliferation of cellphones (rather than pagers) means that sounds of trouble can be played to victims, exploiting their caring about others in distress.

The criminals’ new tactic reinforces the need for people to be aware of international area codes within the US country code of 1 – after all, how difficult would it be for criminals to leave a voicemail claiming to be a collection agency, doctor, police department, or other “real sounding” party and ask the recipient to call back at some domestic-sounding, but international, phone number? How many people would likely fall prey to such a scam?

While 809, 473, 284, 649 and 876, may be the primary sources of the current danger, here is a list of (non-Canadian) area codes that are international. All but a few are relatively new, having been split off from 809 in the late 1990s.

Stay safe!

242- Bahamas 441 – Bermuda 784 – St. Vincent & Grenadines
246 – Barbados 473 – Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique 809, 829, 849 – Dominican Republic
264 – Anguilla 649 – Turks and Caicos 868 – Trinidad and Tobago
268 – Antigua 664 – Montserrat 876 – Jamaica
284 – British Virgin Islands 758 – St Lucia 869 – St. Kitts & Nevis
345 – Cayman Islands 767 – Dominica