WODs & News
Get our latest posts delivered to your inbox!
By now I’m sure many of you have seen or read that article thats been passed around all over the web saying that crossfit is the russian roulette of the fitness world. The article, if you haven’t seen it do a google search – I refuse to link it here, talks about the disease known as rhabdomyolysis, which is a condition in which muscle tissue becomes severely damaged releasing proteins into the blood and leading to renal (kidney) failure. This condition occurs under situations of extreme exertion, in individuals whose bodies are nowhere near prepared for the stress imposed on them.
“Rhabdo” is a real and dangerous condition, no argument there; however it is not something that ANY OF YOU need to be worried about at any point and I’ll tell you why.
1) Your coaches know and understand proper exercise and metabolic progression.
We love you guys. Honestly we do, we enjoy every minute of every day we get to work with the motivated, hard working, energetic, and enthusiastic group we have been blessed with. We will always be here pushing you, encouraging you, and asking you to give us your best effort BUT At NO POINT do we want anyone puking, passing out, or breaking down, in an effort to deem a workout hard enough. That is not how we as a group progress and improve. This is why you often see us custom cutting and shaping a workout for many individuals. Training and exercise has be shaped to your fitness level to be effective, a simple blanket workout with no shaping for people on different ends of the spectrum is a recipe for bad things to happen. Rhabdo is a result of an individual doing too much work for their current capacity, to a point where any reasonable coach should be able to see, which is why having a good coach who knows how to progress/regress you is so valuable.
2) Your Box cares about HOW YOU LIFT AND TRAIN
We spend so much time drilling and practicing the technique of complex movements because in a fatigued state your body will revert to what it has patterned most often. Having proper technique and selecting weights correctly for a workout, is possibly the single most important element of avoiding internal or external injury. Sadly this is not the case at many crossFit Operations. We have heard many stories from you guys while traveling that the attention given by coaches was far from adequate to ensure the safety of all participants. Knowing this fact (that each crossfit gym will approach their training differently) you can see why it so frustrating for us when “crossfit” is criticized on a macro level, when each box is its own entity.
3) You will never be forced to do something you are genuinely uncomfortable with here.
While we will always encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and try new exercises and movements, you will never hear a coach yell at you for not doing x,y, or z movement, especially anything that relates to an injury/health issue. At any point during a workout if you aren’t feeling well, or feel things beyond traditional exercise discomfort, we will immediately take action, rather than yell at you to keep going.
Exertional Rhabdomyolysis can happen, and it certainly has occurred in crossfit. Its also happened in high school football, cycling, the military, soccer, and probably even competitive cup stacking (those guys are intense…youtube that stuff) and the list goes on…. It is absolutely not something that is intrinsic to CrossFit, and it is certainly not something that occurs with any kind of regularity. It is far more likely that you will get injured on the way to a workout then in the workout itself. You could fall out of the bathtub after a shower and die… Have you stopped showering as a result? Also have you checked some of the numbers on the risks of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, heart disease, and the like? Yea…all a hell of a lot higher then rhabdo.
Exercise has its risk no doubt about it, but thats why you come to CFR, thats why you pay a little more than your commercial gym buddies, because we are here to guide you, to minimize that risk, keep you as healthy as possible, and make sure you have a damn good time doing so. Again we love you guys, and we would never want to see anything like that happen to you. Whenever you read these CrossFit bashing articles, before losing faith and passing judgement remember to analyze each gym as its own entity. Don’t let the fear mongering of the weaklings of our race deter you…you are better then them…you are alpha…you are RESILIENCE STRONG
Here are some other great responses to the article by the cowardly physical therapist Eric Robertson (God forbid he meets a task in which he has to exert himself, he may suddenly collapse and die of rhabdo…)
(^ dont entirely agree with this one but it has some good points)
Also check the link I shared on our facebook page!
Have a great day! Don’t fear immeasurable power and dominance!
Here we are for our third installment of the CFR Nutrition Blog. Let’s get right at the questions from this week.
Early AM Pre-Workout Nutrition
Many of you who workout first thing in the morning have asked what is the best pre-workout meal. Well here it is:
A combination of meat and fat, with a small amount of carbs depending on your goals.
A grass fed steak cooked in butter, handful of macadamia nuts, and a handful of berries.
-If you dont have time to cook before the morning workout, make it the night before and eat it cold pre-workout (it wont kill you) (a baggie of sliced sirloin travels very well)
-If you “can’t eat meat in the morning” I have no sympathy and you need to train yourself to gradually. Man kind was made to eat meat, look to the strongest of our species and the strongest predators of the animal kingdom. The lion on the african savannah doesn’t wake up looking for his chobani (I really hate yogurt as a dietary staple.. see last blog) he wants the meat of a conquered beast.
You have to make meat+fat a priority in the morning, there really is no compromise….
Now if you can’t eat at all pre-workout (you feel nauseous etc.)… that may not be such a bad thing. Working out fasted (if you tolerate it and it doesn’t impair performance) first thing in the morning isn’t horrible IF you had a big caloric/carb dense dinner the night before (see last blog).
In such a case a coffee/protein mix would be a great pre-workout pick me up. Try something like this all blended together:
1-2 C Black Coffee
1 Tsp Heavy Cream (YES HEAVY CREAM NOT half and half or skim milk. Coconut milk/oil is great too)
1/2 Scoop Whey
1oz mixed nuts (on the side)
This provides enough fat and protein to ensure you aren’t burning muscle tissue, and it also gives you the mental boost of caffeine (see first blog).
Game day Nutrition is very simple. You need to take in enough fuel to perform optimally but you have to be VERY sensitive to food tolerance/digestion issues. With that said here are some guidelines:
-Favor liquid nutrition (BCAAs, liquid carbs, whey, electrolytes etc.) if less than 1 hour between events
-If time allows (>90 min btwn events) small solid meals of comfortable, bland, familiar foods can be consumed with adequate electrolyte enhanced water.
-grilled chicken with rice and a small scoop of avocado, w/ colored salt.
-2 Fuel for fire packs w/ a handful of cashews
-Constantly sipping a beverage containing amino acids, high molecular weight carbs (waxy maize, cyclic dextrins), electrolytes, and creatine is a great move. (My personal favorite is a product called “plazma” from biotest, that contains all of these in one item)
You do not ever want to feel “full.” We are just trying to keep enough gas in the tank to keep you in the game.
I was asked this week to comment on a “bacon/jerky” hierarchy… Its tough to pick exact rankings but I will give you some guidelines (this goes for ALL meat, not just bacon and jerky)
-The more “wild” the better. I.e. venison, and wild bison jerky will always trump turkey or beef
-Which ever meat you have LEAST often will also always win. If you live in this country chances are you eat a ton of chicken and beef, so favoring the more exotic meats (bison, ostrich, venison, carribou, alligator, boar…) will give your body new amino acid profiles, and thus keep you from developing food allergies.
A good rule of thumb is try to rotate meats as often as possible (this goes into what i talked about in the previous entry) to get as great a variety of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) as possible.
Try this… Pick out four days of the week where you have to have 4 “whole food” (not supplement) protein meals. These meals cannot have any of the following (which happen to be very common allergens)
this means you will have to try things like….
-salmon (WILD caught!!! farm raised salmon is poison)
and any other animal that fits!
What is someone missing who doesn’t eat red meat? You mean besides the greatest most fulfilling joy in the world? here are a few:
-zinc (can be found in shellfish too though)
-many b vitamins
-purines (small protein molecules that function in many processes in the body, such as energy production, and nuerotransmitters)
^ maybe the most important and underrated
-cholesterol (my favorite nutrient)
One of the most important things that needs to be considered by those who eat only white or lean meats is that it is essential for one to take in adequate fat when consuming a high protein diet. Without enough fat (which is inherently present in most red meat) you run the risk of depleting vitamin A, and then that begins a negative spiral.
If you will never eat red meat despite my recommendation (and my recommendation is to eat red meat from animals that are either wild or have been raised properly) make sure you at least do this:
-Supplement with zinc until you pass the zinc tally test
-Eat plenty of egg yolks from free range eggs
-Cook all your white meat in butter
-Take a b12 supplement or have a doctor administer b12 injections
-Realize you are holding back your true success, and that eating red meat will make you better at everything.
The Best Bread
Bread…Sandwiches…Toast… We all miss it time to time, since we have all given up bread on our quest to be nutritionally savvy primal exercisers.
But from time to time when the urge strikes, is there a bread that is better than others?
Before I touch this topic know this, THIS ONLY APPLIES IF:
-You are already lean (i.e. you can see the outline of your abs)
-Your main goal is build muscle or improve performance
-You DONT tend to store a lot of fat on your upper back
-You handle carbs decently and don’t immediately enter a carb coma
Now with that said…here is my humble opinion.
There are two kinds of bread I deem “ok” for occasional use:
-Certain Gluten free “Rice Breads”
-Sprouted Grain Breads “Ezekiel Bread”
Even though ezekiel bread has some wheat and a small amount of gluten, most people handle it fine since the grains have been sprouted and most of the negative effects are blunted.
Rice bread is basically just rice flour and some binders, but god bless the person who can eat it regularly, it falls somewhere between dehydrated ape turds and toe jam particle board on the haggard spectrum.
Since ezekiel bread is widely tolerated, and many nutritionally anal people I know are fine with it, I give it a thumbs up in the carb category.
With those factors considered a would call it a nutrition draw for both breads but in the end my vote is for The ZEEK bread on the merits of its far better taste.
What happens if I don’t…
Eat enough essential Fat:
-Potential cardiovascular issues
-Skin issues (dry skin rashes etc.)
-Increased inflammation and joint pain
-Weakened immune system
-Nutrient mal absorption
I could go on…
……Basically a lot of horrible stuff, the same holds true for caloric intake, except now we add a slowed metabolism which means you will stop burning fat…The adage of eat less and lose more fat is way off. Instead of focusing on eating less, eat MORE quality food, recover faster and train even more!!!!
Chocolate milk as a recovery drink….
Ugh… This stupid idea just wont die. Just when people start to realize that conventional milk is poison the dairy council sponsors some hard-up PHD student to do a study telling people its better than anything else to recover. Let me save you the trouble it aint.
Chocolate milk is good as a recovery drink if you are a powerlifter that doesn’t mind being bloated and being 30% body fat. It has carbs and protein great….so do plenty of other things you won’t find me recommending post workout.
The problem here is the lactose, high fructose corn syrup, destroyed fats and enzymes, and source of the milk.
Now, if you wanted to make chocolate milk a reality as a great post workout drink try this:
-2 Cups of full fat RAW MILK
-2 Scoops of SFH chocolate protein
Boom, now there is a post workout drink that will get you stronger and wont leave you fat and cancer prone (seriously, regular milk should come with a carcinogen warning).
Melatonin, is a fairly well studied sleep aid that works on the neurotransmitters of the brain aiding in a deeper sleep. I generally don’t have a problem with it if used on occasion. I do think magnesium (my favorite is a product called “Zen Mag”) is a better choice for most people as a first step in sleep difficulties, because it works on many other pathways simultaneously, aiding in much more than sleep.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, I not trying to diagnose or treat a disease. Only sharing my civilian opinion. You can calm down now.
If I had arthritis here are some things I would do:
-Get a food sensitivity test and immediately eliminate anything that is even remotely allergenic/inflammatory (an “MRT” test)
-Take ALL the fish oil. Yep. All of it, none for any of you, sorry. And it would be High “EPA” fish oil (I like a product called Omega 3 6:1)
-Make sure I am pouring sweat before I lift ( an excessive warm up can help relieve joint pain)
-Rotate the foods I do tolerate often
-Get soft tissue work done very frequently
-Eliminate all alcohol
-Supplement with proteolytic enzymes during flare-ups
-Try topical curcumin
-Apply “emu oil” pre workout
If had arthritis I would honestly do all of that. Arthritis is a disease of inflammation, and inflammation can be controlled. Just my .02
here is one of my favorite go-to meatloaf recipes (this site has a ton of good ones!!)
Thanks for reading! Ask any follow ups below!
Yesterday marked the completion of our 3rd round of testing and our first complete training year. I have gotten quite a few questions about the “method behind the madness” in our system so what I thought I’d do is share some overview of how we program, and what we were looking for in our most recent batch of testing.
(Bear with me as this gets a little technical)
In our programming what I like to do is look at 3 month blocks or what are called “mesocycles” within each mesocycle are “microcycles” that contain different training points of emphasis. While certain training systems claim to be able to boost all attributes of fitness equally all the time, I find this is just extremely difficult, and more often than not ends with very slow progress in each fitness pathway. What we like to use is a variation of the conjugate system, in which all attributes are trained (strength, power, speed, endurance etc.) but certain ones are favored in a cyclical manner. With all this exercise science “geekery” in mind here is what happened the past three months and why it was such:
Lower Body Strength and The Squat:
I want to talk for a minute about why we do so many squats here at CFR. The squat is, quite simply put, the king of all exercises. A strong squat builds the basis for all athletic movements and is unrivaled in its ability to “bulletproof” the body when performed properly. It is rare that we will have a training day that doesn’t involve some type of squat, from a warm up to strength work to a WOD component. I am a firm believer that movement patterns that we deem essential should be practiced and “grooved” everyday, which is why we almost always have some type of squat and hinge incorporated somewhere in the workout. I concede that not all of us are ready to squat with an added loaded, but the fact remains that striving towards that and continuing to groove that pattern will be hugely beneficial. Another often forgotten point about training in the era of gizmos, gadgets, and quick fixes is that getting stronger in the big lifts fixes ALOT. Getting stronger allows one to be much more resilient, and handle a much greater volume of work.
With that said a huge part of our training in this past cycle was geared around the back squat and as a result the gains there were collectively ASTOUNDING. If I had to pick one test which would be indicative of all others this would be it… I personally guarantee that the athletes who show up on our leader board in the back squat will show up elsewhere too. This was one test that I hoped to see the most progress on and I certainly did. Just about everyone who was regular 3+ days a week made huge strides here, which is awesome.
Squat Vs. Deadlift
Deadlifts are a truly wonderful and primal test of strength. Get tight, load your posterior chain, and rip the weight off the floor… Doesn’t get much better than that. Only problem with deadlifting is that it can absolutely fry your nervous system for up to 2 WEEKS (!) if you go heavy. With that in mind I wanted to see if we could boost our deadlift, while deadlifting once every 2-3 weeks, and squatting more frequently (which is far less of a strain on the CNS). The result here was also excellent… When I see both veteran athletes (with whom progress becomes more challenging) and newer athletes (who will make bigger strides at first) PR I know we are on to something. So what we saw here is that we can still make progress in the deadlift while saving our bodies’ and nervous systems, by squatting more frequently and using accessory hamstring training.
Horizontal Vs. Vertical pressing
This was purely curiosity on my part but if you have been paying attention we had done NO horizontal pressing (externally loaded at least) for the past two months. I wanted to see what would happen to our horizontal pressing strength if we instead focused on various bodyweight pressing movements and olympic overhead derivatives… The result was exactly what I was looking for. The majority were able to maintain if not slightly gain on the floor press (which while not identical is certainly comparable on a macro level to the bench press), which means we can continue to favor standing, gymnastic, and overall more “functional” pressing variations (while still benching on occasion for balance and enjoyment).
This is still (as is completely expected) an area where we need to build comfort in our technique, and learn to use that technique rather than muscle to improve our numbers. What is good is that now the errors we are collectively making are more “advanced errors” and more small scale. This is an ongoing process that we are in no hurry to master, but will remain at the forefront of our sights because of its tremendous benefit.
What I was looking at here was not so much how many reps our score improved by, but how many people were able to now do the full prescribed movement. To improve on an already good gymnastic score requires a hefty amount of volume, which we hadn’t dedicated in this cycle. I did see that our total number of individuals able to do things like Pull-ups, toes to bar, and hand stand push ups increase dramatically. This I believe is a carry over from the overall strength gained from heavy barbell movements, and now we can strive to solidify that with more gymnastic volume.
Short Term Threshold Conditioning (Bike+Row tests)
These are tests that look at our maximal non-oxidative energy systems (short term “go” system) are very variable with what you have been doing within the immediate training cycle. They de-train VERY quickly (within a matter of days) and require very targeted and calculated training to improve above a certain point. Our training the last three months has NOT been geared towards this and as such many of us saw a drop off here… THATS OK! It was meant to be such. As we prepare for the “Open” and get into the winter, these pathways will be focused on to a much greater degree.
So to sum it up:
-What we wanted to go up…went up
-What we expected would drop off slightly, did just that
-We are ALL moving in the right direction
Our next phase of training will have the following focal points within different realms:
–Build the front squat and improve torso angle while front squatting
–Improve comfort in the overhead squat and overhead position in general
–Master Double Under (or continue trying!
–Learn to be comfortable dropping under bar in olympic lifts
-Improve ability to repeat truly maximal efforts in the 2-3 Minute range
Let me know if you have any questions, or if there is anything else you would like to discuss
TOP 5 TRAINING ACCESSORIES YOU NEED (Or really should have)
1) Weightlifting shoes
What if I told you you could instantly improve your:
Sounds pretty good right? Well with a good pair of olympic lifting shoes you can. A quality olympic lifting shoe will have a solid, elevated heel to improve lower body levers and mechanics in a way that improves the physics of the aforementioned lifts. This is ESPECIALLY true if you suffer from sub-par ankle mobility. We are not trying to mask an issue here, only work with it, and of course ankle mobility work should continue to be a priority.
Another main advantage of an olympic lifting shoe versus a traditional sneaker is the rigidity, and stability of its sole. Olympic shoes have one primary flex point at the mid-foot/toe box zone, to allow for one to extend on their toes, and thats about it. The rest of the shoe is incredibly stiff to allow one to “catch” a lift and not experience the “squish” of a traditional sneaker.
The brands/shoes we like are:
-Risto Sports Olympico (www.ristosports.com)(local, made by hand, under fair labor conditions)
-Nike Romaleo (www.roguefitness.com)
-Adidas “AdiPower” (www.roguefitness.com)
2) Wrist Wraps
My wrist hurts when I….Stop right there! if you have even slight wrist discomfort (non-injury related) when performing any wrist loaded exercise, you should have a pair! Even if you don’t have wrist pain wearing wrist wraps on things like snatches, clean and jerks, and HSPU’s is a great idea because it provides you some stability in the movement, that could otherwise cause a missed rep.
We recommend the “medium” length from www.roguefitness.com
3) Jump Rope
Having a jump rope cut to the correct height, of an appropriate thickness is of HUGE importance to the cross fitter!! It is virtually impossible to master the double under (an excellent training tool) if you do not have a correct size rope.
My personal favorite rope is the custom made “Rope as RX” from roguefitness ( I swear we don’t get paid by rogue… they just have a monopoly) which can be customized to a desired height and thickness. If you prefer the thinner “speed” ropes, which are a bit harder to learn on, but easier to perform once mastered, rogue also carries several good ones in its “SR” line.
4) Knee Sleeves
Knee sleeves keep your knees warm and compressed, helping to hasten warm up times, and prevent nagging knee discomfort. Think of them as a prolonged hug for your knees whenever you have them on. They are great for any type of squatting movement or olympic lift, or just for general use if you suffer from patella femoral pain. The brand we like best is called “rehband” and they can be purchased on:
5) High Socks
Rope Burns…Deadlift Scabs… Blood, rashes…All things we do not need to deal with, if we wear the right socks. A nice pair of high socks will prevent a lot of the common bar scrapes and bruises, as well as the rope burn. If you get the rope burn really bad consider also looking into a shin guard to prevent any semblance of skin irritation.
And there are a bunch of other custom made quirky socks that can be found at various sellers.
Got some fantastic questions and topics to address this week! Keep these questions coming! Please comment and keep the discussion going!
Late night physique friendly snacking…
Great question Mike, what does one eat at night without turning into a bowl of pudgy fludge. This leads well into a much bigger topic of how to structure one’s daily eating. I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible, but it requires a bit more explanation.
The old saying of “eat like a king a breakfast, a prince at lunch, and a pauper at dinner” is as big a backwards crock of horse manure as anything I’ve ever heard…. It is my strong belief, and much the belief of the current research, that a good bulk of one’s calories (and especially carbs) should be consumed at night. Here is the very short version as to why:
1) Large meals, carb and calorie rich, tend to put one in an insulin induced, “rest and digest” mode. Perfect for relaxing into sleep!
2) Due to circadian and biothrythms, your body is better able to handle carbs at night, ESPECIALLY if you have weight trained that day.
3) Having a high calorie meal at night allows one to eat very light pre-workout (if training in the AM) and still train like a blog thirsty honey badge.
4) Most people like to eat a lot at night and “feel good” with this strategy.
Now the question of WHAT to eat to make up these “high calorie” meals (and high calorie/carb is very relative….another topic I could write a book on). If you trained like a true Viking War Lord that day, or plan on pillage-esque style squatting etc the next day here are some great guidelines:
-Include some type of gluten free “clean” carb (my favorites include: potatoes((white or sweet)), rice ((white)), grapes, ripe bananas, gluten free pancakes (YOLO right?)
-Don’t skimp on the protein….This will go a long way in keeping you full
-Added veggies as needed to “thick” out the meal
(If you did not train, or are taking an off day the next day, skip the carbs and add more protein, veggies and fat, but make sure its a HUGE serving of each!)
And if after that you still are feeling so hungry you’d fight….try to munch on a plate of left over meat. A good rule of thumb is to have plates and tupperware of varying dead animal, from which to pick at in such a situation so the temptation of the nighttime garbage doesn’t leak in.
I could go on, but hopefully this helps you understand that dinner should be a big meal, which in turn should minimize the desire to snack, but if needed…more meat.
We all know the paleo diet (which is a great starting point but shouldnt be viewed as a religion) doesn’t like cheese. Problem is we all do…damn, an impasse.
Not quite… This one is simple. If you tolerate dairy, and are lean, a little cheese here and there wont kill you. The best kind of cheese (and the only you should really eat if you are concerned with optimal health) is raw milk cheese from grass-fed cows. It doesn’t really matter much what “type” it is, as long as it fits that criteria. Enjoy responsibly.
This is an easy one… If you are lean, and trying to either maintain weight/physique, fuel performance, or gain weight build muscle, there are some definite benefits to adding some of these carb sources. (Side note: wheat sucks…a lot, don’t eat it ever…I mean it, stop. Now.)
Here are some good ones if you fall in that category:
White Rice- Pure carb source, very easily digested.
Quinoa- Actually a seed, aztec superfood, actually has complete protein as well.
Gluten Free Oats- Some handle these wells some don’t… A few of you asked about oatmeal, so if 1) You fall in the above categories 2) The oats are gluten free 3) You time them according to your training 4) You have them with a protein source…. theyre ok once in a while! (2-4x a week ish)
Heres a funny story… I have a friend (also a trainer) who has a sensitivity to legumes… To the point where if he looks at a bean or peanut, you’d have to call a hazmat team and vacate to outside of a three state radius. I recall once we all went out to eat and for some reason he had some legumes included in his meal, honest to god we had to walk a full city block in front of him to avoid asphyxiation….
Fart stories aside… Legumes contain what are called “lecitins” which many people do not digest and handle properly. This is the main reason most paleo zealots will give; but like most things I try to keep an open mind. If you don’t have a sensitivity (determined by feel but ideally a food sensitivity test) then including them periodically is totally fine.
Yogurt (greek, asian, polynesian, french or whatever)
I’m gonna take a hard line on this one… sorry. And I’ll tell you why. I don’t really like greek yogurt (or any other) for most people.
The reason I don’t think it should be a regular diet addition is because it is almost always a substitute for animal protein, and I hate anything that displaces quality animal protein in the diet. Aside from that yogurt is very insulogenic (spikes insulin because of the milk sugar), and unless you cultured it from raw milk yourself, is from pastuerized milk. The negatives far outweigh the positives for me, and it is certainly not a fat loss friendly food.
The only exception would be full fat raw milk yogurt or kefir, with NO added sugar or flavoring, consumed occasionally.
Sensei- What did you have for breakfast?
GrassHopper- Yogurt and a banana
Sensei- You know you must eat animal protein and fat for breakfast!! Leave the dairy and sugar for the rest of the civilians!
(10000 Burpees later)
GrassHopper– (Huffing) Sorry Master… Never again will I feed my body such inferior fuel in the morning….
Here are some simple guidelines with whey protein.
-Use only trusted brands that get their protein from quality sources (there’s a lot of poor products out there)
-Try to use only post workout
-OK in emergencies for times when a meal will be significantly delayed
Remember that whey protein is always to be looked at as an addition to the diet, not a staple of it. Whole animal protein still comes first and should be the corner stone. However as a post workout meal, it is tough to argue with the research and effectiveness of whey protein, which is why we recommend it so highly.
This topic that to be given justice, needs to be addressed in a book… If you want more info I will share my favorites with you:
-The Warrior Diet By Ori Hofmekler
-Eat, Stop, Eat By Brad Pilon
-Carb Back Loading By John Kieffer (e book)
I’ll try and give you the SUPER brief run down from my personal trials and experiences and the reading I have done:
-16+ Hour Fasts are too much for those of us who train as hard as we do
– AN occasional day of fasting until noon or so (i.e. skipping breakfast on sunday), might not be such a bad idea for those who want to accelerate fat loss
–Do not fast on days you know you’re gonna have a tough workout
-Realize that while you may drop body fat, performance will likely dip with the longer fasts
-Make sure you still keep the food clean during your “eating window”
For more free information check out this great Pdf which answers alot of questions (JB was one of the first guys I ever read in the nutrition world…great stuff)
Kevin posted a fantastic question about how to manipulate one’s diet to achieve an optimal performance environment….This is another one in which books could be written, but I’ll do my best to sum it up.
-A moderate meal of most protein and fat, with the amount of carbs varying depending on length of the session.
ex. Bison steak with cashews and organic blueberries
The bulk or carbs to fuel a session should consumed the night prior to make sure they are adequately stored as glycogen.
If one is looking for a pure strength boost here is a great meal a friend of mine clued me into a while ago…
8-12 oz Grass fed ribeye (or other fatty cut)
1 Whole avocado
1/4 stick of grass fed butter
1 handful of almonds
This is the very meal I instructed Dave D (our fantastic intern) to eat before he PR’d his back squat by 50 (FIFTY!!) pounds
The reason this meal and one like it (“scaled” to an amount you could handle) is so effective is because the high amount of fat actually does have an effect on testosterone. Especially the cholesterol, which we all know (or should know) if a health superfood, not a demon.
Post Workout Nutrition
(When I say post workout, I am referring to the style of training we do, with lots of lifting and high intensity work, not just a jog or a lighter travel WOD)
My recommendation is to have a shake with a carb source (over ripe banana/Fuel for Fire/White Rice) immediately post workout…
Then an hour later have a solid meal that will vary tremendously based on body composition and physique goals, but a general recommendation is to (as per the first section of this post):
-Save carbs for later at night on training/pre-training days (i.e. if you train in the AM save the big carb meal for dinner)
-Keep the majority of meals centered around protein, veggies, and fats
I’ll end with a brief point on food quality, Kevin asked about avoiding too many supplements and how one could do that. This is a short simple answer: quality and variety.
-Eat of the highest quality local and organic produce whenever possible
-vary the color of your fruits and veggies based on whatever is in season
-use cooking methods that are “gentle” to the produce (i.e. steaming over pan frying) or eat raw!
-Eat grass fed or wild meats whenever possible
Oh and Mike… I’d certainly feel bad for any creature that crosses my path with ill intent. The business end of my blade is no place to be.
Defining “Level 1” and Scaling
In order for the system that is “CrossFit” to function it must be able to be modified, adjusted and “scaled” to any level with relative ease. What we find is that scaling in the sense of regressing an exercise that closely mimics the prescribed movement works for between 80-90% of the CrossFit population. This could mean taking something like a handstand pushup and scaling it with a number of mats, down to a pushup with the knees on the box. But what happens when people brand new to the program, or individuals with limitations for whatever reason, need further modifications in order to achieve an optimal training stimulus from the session? The goal of this article is to explain more in depth the purpose, execution, and progression within what we are calling our “Level 1” program, as well as review the purpose, methods, and importance of general scaling.
Level 1 Athletes and The Level 1 Program
To begin lets first put some objective definitions to what classifies one as a level 1 athlete (If 2 or more of the following apply this is probably a good fit)
Brand New to weight training/CrossFit (But not always! Many veterans could certainly benefit)
For an athlete of this level certain things take priority over others, in order to set the athlete up for success in the long term. Primarily: The establishment of proper motor patterns in the basic movements, structural balance between all joints and muscle groups, and a general increase of work capacity. In order to focus on certain fundamental attributes, other things become secondary and often postponed, those being largely: Olympic Lifts and high technicality gymnastics movements. These modalities are not bad, just not right at this time for these athletes.
The Level 1 Program participants will always do the warm-ups with the entire class but will frequently separate during the “Strength” and “WOD” portions of the class. This separation will occur only if the movements involved are considered to be complex. The athlete will know when a “Level 1” program will occur because it will be indicated when the workout is posted and the coaches will also describe the Level 1 routine during the class. We want to make it clear that on days where there is no posted level 1 workout, it is up to the athlete to scale the workout to a level that suits them, which is the topic of our next section, and should be viewed by ALL ATHLETES.
General Scaling as it Applies to ALL ATHLETES
In order for our system to be truly effective it is imperative that we maximize our performance within a variety of time and modal domains (words of the CrossFit doctrine). To do this we really need to be cognizant that the loads, movements, and reps we select for a workout match what our current abilities will allow. Let’s look at a brief example. Johnny McHopinscotch is a very strong athlete, and has built up his metabolic conditioning through properly scaling workouts over the years. The workout Fran comes up and he follows the Rx pathway doing all pull-ups and thrusters unbroken with a time of 4 minutes. He has achieved the high intensity, short time domain that is desired. Now his classmate and friend Rory Pidgeonsworth is extremely competitive but not quite as experienced. Despite the coaches recommendations he attempts the workout at an Rx level, and hits the time cap because he couldn’t link more than 2 thrusters at a time, thus failing to achieve the desired training stimulus of a very short intense met-con (WOD), over time Rory gets frustrated at his lack of progress and his nagging injuries and has to retire from CrossFit…. A lose-lose for everyone
The moral of the above story is that regardless of what anyone else is doing it is imperative to your success that you scale the workout to your current fitness level. If you are unclear as to what or how you should scale something, please ask your coaches. We are happy to help with this, as we want you to get the most effective workout possible. During every workout, we will always go through scaling options, but if you ever need anything beyond what is mentioned, do not hesitate to ask.
To summarize the key points on scaling: