Friday 140627

Workout
10- Hang Cleans
1-10 Ring Dips

From The Examiner

CrossFit spurred Rick Ross’ incredible 100-lb weight loss: Suffered two seizures

Rap star Rick Ross lost 100 pounds and regained his health with CrossFit workouts and a diet overhaul, the Grio reported.

“I’ve been doing this CrossFit thing,” said Ross. “I call it ‘RossFit. We had started doing it last year. The most I used to do for exercise was stand up to count the money, you know what I’m saying?”

Rick, a former couch potato, said he actually enjoys his high-intensity CrossFit training. “It’s a different type of workout,” he said. “I feel good.”

Ross, 38, also modified his diet, and began eating less junk and more fruit. He said he stills eats the way he used to, but in smaller portions. And he makes exercise a top priority. “I eat pears now and s–t like that,” he said. “I still eat the way I want to eat. I just go to the gym.”

Rick decided to take control of his health after suffering two seizures in one day back in 2011. The seizures, which occurred on two separate airplane flights, left him unconscious, and CPR was necessary to revive him.

Ross doesn’t have a specific weight-loss goal, but is proud of his progress. “It was just time for me to tighten up a little bit,” he said. “I have no destination, no specific weight [goal].”

Tim McGraw Credits CrossFit and Paleo for 40-Lb Weight Loss

Rick isn’t the only celebrity who has lost a dramatic amount of weight with CrossFit. Country superstar Tim McGraw credited the combination of CrossFit and the Paleo diet for his jaw-dropping 40-pound weight loss.

McGraw is in the best shape of his life, and has rippling 8-packs for the first time — at age 47. Even he is stunned by his transformation. “I was looking at some old concert shots the other day. Man, my gut!” Tim told Men’s Health.

Tim’s CrossFit routine incorporate kettlebell swings, hammer strikes, tire flips, sled pulling, and strength-training with martial-arts expert Roger Yuan. “I have trained a lot of people, and many are hard workers, but Tim is another animal,” said Yuan. “There is no quitting in him.”

Study: CrossFit Torches Body Fat and Boosts Aerobic Fitness

CrossFit’s popularity has soared Read more Friday 140627

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.”

Wednesday 140108

Workout
AMRAP in 15 minutes
10-135 lbs DL
10-Ring Dips
10-Sit-ups

From Parade Magazine

6 Lessons on Living Longer and Staying Sharp From a Nonagenarian Track Star 

(Photo: Grant Harder for Parade; Styling: Sarah Danniels/THEYrep.com; Grooming: Tamar Ouziel)

Ninety-four-year-old Olga Kotelko, a retired schoolteacher from West Vancouver, Canada, could be the poster child for late bloomers. Seventeen years ago, at 77, she entered her first “masters” track and field competition, for participants age 35 and over. At 85, she knocked off nearly 20 world records in a single year. Today, she is the only woman in the world over 90 still long-jumping and high-jumping competitively.

How does Olga continue to compete? Why does she feel, today, practically the same as she felt at 50? Around the continent, more and more researchers are studying so-called “super seniors” like Olga, who appear to be applying brakes to the aging process itself—defying the slide into a foggy decline, remaining sharp and healthy deep into old age.

“We think longevity is probably about 70 to 75 percent lifestyle,” says Angela Brooks-Wilson, Ph.D., a geneticist in the Genome Sciences Centre at the B.C. Cancer Agency in Vancouver. That means just a quarter of healthy aging is about the protection you inherited, and up to three-quarters is determined by how you play the hand you were dealt.

This is excellent news. Will any of us be sprinting into our 90s, like Olga? Perhaps not. But can just about all of us be more like Olga? Absolutely.

Below, get six smart habits of super agers and watch Olga in action (in a video by myVancouver).

Swap the Sudoku for Sneakers

Even before she laced up her first track spikes, Olga was always active. As a kid on the Saskatchewan prairie, she and her 10 siblings played baseball with a rag-stuffed ball—and she was still playing up until age 75, when she  began thinking about a new pastime after being plowed down in the outfield by an overzealous teammate chasing the same pop fly. A friend suggested masters track, and just a few months later, at her first international meet in Tucson, Olga launched the javelin 10 feet farther than her competitors’ marks. She soon hooked up with a coach—and started rewriting the record books.

As comprehensively as scientists know that exercise helps the body, they’re still learning how far it goes in shoring up the brain. Increasing evidence suggests that for fending off senior moments (“Where’d I leave my car keys?”), not to mention full-blown dementia, exercise works better than even those brain games touted to boost memory and function. A recent review of research by Norwegian scientists found that the gains people make on such puzzles don’t necessarily carry over into real life. “They’re not going to help you as you age, with, say, driving,” says Justin Rhodes, Ph.D., a psychologist at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at ­Urbana-Champaign. “But exercise can help you improve across the board.”

Stay on Your Feet

At home—a tidy suite in the ­lower level of her daughter’s house—Olga rarely sits for long. She’s continually popping up to stir a soup, write a letter, or make a phone call. She climbs the stairs, she figures, “probably 50 times a day.” She switches on the TV only to watch her favorite game shows (Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!) or check the ­weather. Apart from a brief stint as a ­secretary after she left her family’s farm, she’s never had a desk job.

Olga’s life is anchored in rituals. If it’s Tuesday, she’s out bowling.Simply standing up more is the best thing sedentary people can do to start becoming healthier, maintains Joan Vernikos, Ph.D., the former director of Life ­Sciences for NASA and ­author of the book Sitting Kills. The painless act of rising from your chair pumps blood from the feet to the head, and tunes the vestibular system, which helps maintain blood pressure and keeps you steady on your feet.

Even a regular morning jog can’t compensate for being inert the ­other 23 hours of the day, research shows. Extended bouts of inactivity have been found to increase subjects’ risk of serious afflictions—including hypertension, blood clots, and even some types of cancer—no matter how “fit” those subjects were.

Eat Real Food

Photo: Grant Harder for Parade; Styling: Sarah Danniels/THEYrep.com; Grooming: Tamar Ouziel

The Coach: Harold Morioka, Olga’s 70-year-old coach, is one of the most gifted masters athletes ever, the only runner of any age to break world records in every distance from 60 to 800 meters.(Photo: Grant Harder for Parade; Styling: Sarah Danniels/THEYrep.com; Grooming: Tamar Ouziel)

People are intensely curious about Olga’s diet. And while her eating habits are healthy—there’s very little processed food in her cupboards, for instance—they are by no means perfect. She is no stranger to carbs, often having toast in the morning (perhaps topped with cheese and honey) and bread again in her lunchtime sandwich. She likes her meat and she likes it medium-rare. At a baseball game she’ll down a hot dog and a beer.

Instead, it’s her approach to eating that may be an overlooked part of the puzzle. Olga eats four to five times a day, and not much in the evenings. She won’t skip meals or scarf fast food and count on a handful of supplements and vitamins to pick up the dietary slack. (She does take a baby aspirin each day to prevent blood clots, and glucosamine to shore up her joint cartilage, which takes such a pounding on the track.) A balanced diet ought to do it, she figures. Nature had a couple million years to get this right. Plus, she says, “food’s cheaper.”

Be a Creature of Habit

Photo: Grant Harder for Parade; Styling: Sarah Danniels/THEYrep.com; Grooming: Tamar Ouziel

The Running Buddy: Christa Bortignon, 76, has set seven world records this year en route to the 2013 World Female Masters Athlete award. Without Olga as a mentor, she says, “I wouldn’t have even known masters track existed.” (Photo: Grant Harder for Parade; Styling: Sarah Danniels/THEYrep.com; Grooming: Tamar Ouziel)

There is no book, you will notice, called The Seven Ephemeral Whims of Highly Successful People. The reason: Habits work.

“What you have to do is just get yourself to the track,” says Olga’s friend (and fellow masters athlete) Christa Bortignon. There, she’ll dial up Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 on the iPod, circle the track twice, then jog it once. It’s as if Christa is turning the tumblers on a lock: Those small familiar actions cue the body that it’s showtime. “Your muscles have a memory,” she says. “They know.”

Under stress, people tend to fall back on routines—whether healthy or unhealthy. In a recent experiment, University of Southern California psychologist Wendy Wood, Ph.D., one of the world’s top experts in habit formation, found that students around exam time slipped into autopilot. It was habits—not cravings, as you might expect—that determined their food choices, for better or worse.

Olga’s own weekly calendar is ­anchored in rituals. Her mornings typically include a stretching routine; she adheres to a predictable bedtime. If it’s Tuesday, she is out bowling; if it’s Thursday, she is likely making pierogi in the basement of her church.

Cultivate a Sense of Progress

We all need the feeling that in some small ways we’re improving—or at least not backsliding—whether at the gym, at our jobs, or in our relationships. Without periodic doses of what psychologist Teresa Amabile, Ph.D., calls “small wins,” our morale craters.

Photo: Grant Harder for Parade; Styling: Sarah Danniels/THEYrep.com; Grooming: Tamar Ouziel

The Legacy: A competitive volleyball player, Olga’s granddaughter Alesa Rabson, 23, enjoys a lush genetic inheritance. “Grandma has taught me there’s no excuse to be lazy,” she says. (Photo: Grant Harder for Parade; Styling: Sarah Danniels/THEYrep.com; Grooming: Tamar Ouziel)

Trouble is, chalking up wins becomes more difficult from midlife on, when it’s easy to feel like you’re getting slower and weaker by the day. Fortunately, there’s a remedy. The trick is to ­reframe progress so that it becomes a relative measure, not an absolute one. In other words, to move the yardsticks as you age.

This is something that masters track does ingeniously. Olga’s results are “age-graded,” meaning they are adjusted to account for the expected decline of the human body. And Olga applies the “move the yardsticks” strategy off the track as well. For instance, she still says yes to many social requests but not to all— increasing her fulfillment by cherry-picking the best life has to offer.

Lighten Up

“People get stressed out over the smallest things,” Olga says. The fact that she doesn’t is as much a matter of choice as temperament. “Honestly, I don’t have the time.”

Not long ago, at an Illinois airport, as Olga moved toward security, other passengers ­began removing their shoes. But Olga didn’t. A sign said that you didn’t have to if you were over 75.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” a security agent asked Olga. “How old are you?”

“Ninety-three,” she replied.

The agent gaped at her. “You’re joking,” she said.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. You’re … how old?”

“Ninety-three.”

“What’s your secret?” she ­finally asked.

“Enjoy life!” Olga replied.

The agent nodded as a grin infiltrated her face. Then she turned to her supervisor, somewhere behind the barrier, and announced, “I quit!”

Thursday 130516

Workout

“Big Kate”
1200m Run
20-GHD Sit-ups
10-Ring Dips

600m Run
40-TTB
10-Ring Dips

400m Run
60-Sit-ups
10-Ring Dips

From PBS.  Study?  Where are the numbers?

Study Pinpoints Link Between Fitness and Cancer in Men

BY: SARAH CLUNE

Photo courtesy: Flickr user Josiah Mackenzie

There’s new evidence out today that being fit reduces your risk for getting cancer.

The study, released at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting, looked at the link between fitness in middle-aged men and the likelihood of a cancer diagnosis later in life.

Doctors focused on the top three cancers in men: prostate, colorectal and lung. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400,000 men were diagnosed with one of these cancers in 2007.

The study tracked 7,000 healthy, 45-year old men. Their fitness was assessed during their regular preventive health exam by putting them on the treadmill. How far — and how well they were able to tolerate increases in the speed and grade of the treadmill — determined how “fit” they were.

Two decades later, when the men were 65, doctors looked at who had developed cancer and compared that to their previous fitness levels. They saw a link — “fit” individuals were less likely to develop cancer, and if they did develop it, they generally had better prognoses.

“That’s what’s really sort of amazing is that there’s really no other population where we have the assessment back in time, when they were in their middle age,” according to Dr. Susan Lakoski, the study’s primary author. “We followed them all the way to past the age of 65 and beyond to track whether or not they’ve developed cancer to see what this relationship was between fitness and cancer risk.”

The study began in 1970 at the Cooper Center Longitudinal Studies in Dallas. The participants were predominantly Caucasian.

Dr. Lakoski focuses on cardiovascular health among cancer patients. She spoke with PBS NewsHour earlier this week.


PBS NewsHour: In a nutshell, what did the study reveal?

Dr. Susan Lakoski, University of Vermont College of Medicine:The study shows that cardiorespiratory fitness predicts cancer risk and prognosis after a cancer diagnosis in men. This is a new finding, because traditionally patients self-report their physical activity. But in our study, we measured it with an objective exercise sonar test.

This is the first study that really addresses the issue of fitness being a prognostic marker of cancer risk in men, and then a marker of prognosis after a cancer diagnosis. We specifically looked at if “fitness,” or the ability to get on a treadmill and go as far as you can, predicted whether or not you’ll develop cancer. And it did predict it. So people who had lower fitness, or went less time on the treadmill, were more at risk for developing cancer later in life.

NewsHour: What’s the difference between physical activity and fitness?

Dr. Susan Lakoski:Physical activity is one Read more Thursday 130516

Wednesday 130508

Workout

Hang Cleans – x2 x7 (Don’t drop the bar – use 65% – 70% of your 1RM)

MetCon

“Elizabeth” – Rx is 135 lbs.  Check with me before starting.

Well that’s just a stupid name!

CrossFit ‘Tough Titsday’ Class Causes Controversy

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 05/08/2013 10:41 am EDT  |  Updated: 05/08/2013 10:41 am EDT

Crossfit Tough Titsday
When one woman complained about the name of CrossFit South Brooklyn’s “Tough Titsday” women-only workout class, she ended up banned from the gym altogether.

CrossFit South Brooklyn, one of many affiliate gyms across the country licensing short, high intensity workouts from the Crossfit fitness brand, started featuring the “Tough Titsday” class in 2011. It became the source of controversy this week when one prospective customer criticized what the gym calls the all-women, four-part CrossFit series. “Novice ladies, it is time to get your estrogen on,” reads the online description. The woman told Jezebel that she sent an email to CrossFit South Brooklyn owner, David Osorio that read:

do you really have to call a female class “titsday” really??? Read more Wednesday 130508

Monday 121029

Squatober is almost over.  So far this month Big Al, Kathy, Katie and Kelly added 20 lbs to their BSquat 1RM.   Guys…where you at?!

Workout

BSquats – 5/3/1 (use 90% of your 1 RM then complete: 3@70%, 3@75%, AMRAP @80%)

Mini MetCon

20/15/10

Ring Dips
Thrusters 75 M, 55 F
“Games” Push-ups

Tomorrow Tabata!

It appears that we are not the only folks that did not dig the New York Times article titled Why Women Can’t Do Pull-ups.  Smithsonian Magazine and many others feel differently.

Women Can’t Do Pull Ups? Not So Fast

Photo: petar_jurina

This morning, women around the world breathed a sigh of relief as a new study excused their inability to do pull-ups. According to research described in The New York Times, a combination of women’s low levels of testosterone, higher body fat percentage and less ease at building muscle means that women fare worse than men at performing pull-ups.

“I love when science proves that I’m not a wimp,” wrote Sarah Weir on Yahoo’s Shine, in an article titled “Women Can’t do Pull-Ups: It’s a Law of Physics.” Weir went on to describe the study—”a rather grueling regime”—in which researchers recruited 17 average-weight university-age women who could not do a single pull-up. Over three months, the researchers trained the women three times a week using a variety of exercises, such as weight lifting and modified pull-ups. At the end of the training period, however, they were surprised to find that only 4 of the 17 women succeeded in achieving a single pull up.

“While I’m awe of super women who can crank out a few pull ups, for the rest of us, maybe it’s time to lower the bar,” Weir writes.

But how did those women become “super women” in the first place? Gawker’s Hamilton Nolanpoints out the obvious: training.

Women: you can do pull-ups. Do not believe the hype.

Is it usually harder for a woman to do a pullup than it is for a man, due to biological differences in muscle mass and upper body strength and body fat percentages? Yes. It is generally harder for women to do pullups. Does that mean that women cannot do pullups? No. It does not. Any healthy woman, absent any serious physical injuries or deformities, can be trained to do a pullup.

Rather than resigning all women around the world to a life devoid of pull-ups, the study simply proved that 13 of the women needed to continue their training in order to achieve a pull-up, Nolan writes.

I congratulate Read more Monday 121029