Why Should I Track My Work Out Results?

CrossFit is an evidence based fitness program. Almost everything we do is measurable.  It is hard to evaluate your progress if you don't keep track of your results.  How often do you come to the gym a 5-5-5-5-5 lift and don't remember what you lifted last time?   or you don't remember exactly how you scaled a movement the last time you did this skill in a wod? Tracking your results will also helps keep you motivated because you can always see how far you have come.  Seeing progress is motivation for yo to keep push.

There are many ways to track you work outs:  A notebook, a customer wod journal, one of many phone apps and Zen Planner. 

My favorite app is My WOD.  

Your can purchase custom WOD journals here:

http://sportjournals.com/  or on www.roguefitness.com

 

CrossFit & the Holiday Season

How to Stay in The Game 

By William Imbo

December 16, 2014

 

Christmas and New Year’s are nearly upon us, and many athletes will be traveling home to be with friends and family. But there is something that we all need to be wary of this December: the trap of the holiday season.

“What the heck is that?” I hear you ask. Well, I think you know what it is. Think back to previous years and how you felt when you came back to the box on January 2nd. I’m sure you were carrying a few extra pounds and that first workout hit you like a train wreck. It’s amazing how much damage a couple of weeks can do to your levels of fitness.  I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping that this year, things will be different. While you should permit yourself (some of) the drinks, turkey and cake at this time of year, doing so will naturally have an impact on your fitness, but it’s the price we pay for festivities and celebrations. What we do have control over, however, is how big a price we need to pay. Shocking as this sounds, you can take control of your fitness this month and ensure that when you do return to the box, you don’t have to fight tooth and nail to return to the levels you know you’re capable of. Here’s how.

Try to watch what you eat
This is most people’s undoing during the holiday period. It can be all too easy to let yourself relax TOO much and indulge a little too excessively. There’s nothing wrong with having a drink now and again and eating some non-paleo food, but you must be aware of how often you’re eating/drinking badly. You might feel pressure from friends and family to “enjoy yourself” and have another drink, but you have to keep the bigger picture in mind as well. You can still have a good time while keeping an eye on what you consume—isn’t that what you’ve been doing for a while anyway? I’m not going to sit here and tell you what to eat and drink and what to avoid, as I’m sure you already know what helps your fitness and what’s detrimental to it. It’s up to YOU to keep a lid on things, and the weeks over Christmas and New Year’s are certainly going to test your willpower. But if you can picture how brutal it’s going to be to try and return to the level of fitness you once held if you keep indulging, I’m sure that mental cue will force you to be a little more strict with yourself than you’ve been in past years.

Drop in at a local box (if there’s one close by)
I can’t stress how important it is to drop in at new boxes whenever you get the opportunity—not just during the holiday season. It’s good to see how other affiliates operate. You can learn new methods of doing things from different coaches, you may get to play around with equipment you don’t have at your home box, and you’ll get a better appreciation and understanding for the CrossFit community by meeting new athletes that also share a passion for the sport. Oh yeah, and you’ll get to do CrossFit over the holidays, which is worth its weight in gold! The last thing you want over the course of a couple weeks is to be a complete stranger to the ways of WOD. Dropping in at a box is the best way to ensure that your muscle memory stays fresh and you don’t become a stranger to the game. Fortunately, with the rate of growth that the affiliate community is currently experiencing, you should be able to find a box that’s relatively close to you—depending on where you live and/or how far you’re willing to drive to get there.

Go to a globo gym
If you can’t get to an affiliate: have no fear, the globo gym is here! In all honesty, you shouldn’t have any qualms about walking into a ‘traditional gym’ to do your own thing—which is quite an ironic thing to write, seeing as so many of us were regulars at globo gyms before we transitioned into CrossFit. While we may do things a little differently inside the walls of an affiliate, you can accomplish plenty of work inside a globo gym too. Sam Dancer, 2nd place finisher at the 2014 CrossFit Games with Team Conjugate Black and NPGL competitor, typically does his first workout of the day at a globo gym. Depending on the day, Dancer will perform eight to ten accessory exercises that he splits between the upper and lower body. Accessory exercises are movements, lifts and drills that are designed to support your primary lifts in a given sport. For example, box squats are a strength training accessory exercise to assist your squat.

There are three glaring problems with trying to attempt to perform a typical CrossFit workout at a globo gym. First, such gyms typically don’t condone the practice of dropping heavy barbells (in fact, any barbell or dumbbell or anything!) on the floor from overhead. Second, the design of a globo gym isn’t conducive to performing a WOD. You likely won’t have the space to bring a barbell and place it next to a rower if you’re trying to perform Jackie, for example. And if you are lucky enough to find that the rower, barbells and pull-up bar are pretty close together, you’ll probably have to fight through a throng of other people to go from station to station. Lastly, unless you’re working out with a buddy, you won’t have anyone to spot you—which is a problem that any athlete will face, not just CrossFitters.

With all that being said, we are still CrossFitters, and we adapt to our environments, damn it! Ok, so you might have to make a couple of modifications to your typical workout—that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. Go up to 85% of your one rep max, go heavy on volume and hone in on refining your technique. Grab a set of dumbbells and do a modified Fran. And if all else fails—squat. Always squat.

Do home workouts
If the gods are really against you and dropping in at a box or going to a globo gym is out of the question, you’re still in good shape (pun intended). There are a TON of bodyweight workouts (and workouts that require minimal equipment) that you can do in your back yard, in your neighborhood, or in the convenience of your home (for those of you with a home gym, I salute you). So if you just can’t control yourself on Christmas day afternoon and need to get your fix, here are a few workouts to get you started:

Annie: 50-40-30-20 and 10 rep rounds of: Double-unders and sit-ups
Angie: Complete in order: 100 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats
Murph*: Run 1 mile, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, run 1 mile (Partition the pull-ups, push-ups and squats as needed.)
Cindy: 20 minute AMRAP of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats
Surfer on Acid: 3 rounds for time, 400m run, 21 burpees
Tabata Sprints: Sprint 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds (8 rounds)
Susan – 5 rounds for time:  Run 200m, then 10 squats, 10 push ups

Focus on different areas of fitness
Time away from the world of CrossFit and the box can remind you of the sports and activities you love, and how beneficial they can be for developing your fitness. Moreover, if you haven’t jumped on the court/field/pool for a while, it could be cool to see how much faster, stronger and more agile you feel following your training in CrossFit. As I wrote in an earlier article, working out away from the box can be good to help you avoid the CrossFit burnout, and it’s also an excellent opportunity to work on different areas of your fitness. You could really focus on your mobility this winter and spend several hours a day with a yoga matt, lacrosse ball, foam roller and resistance band to find new levels of flexibility that you never thought you’d achieve. Go for a long run, become more proficient on the rower (see globo gym), get some cones or other obstacles and work on your agility and speed or jump in the pool and swim a shit ton of laps! The point is you shouldn’t solely be focused on grabbing the nearest barbell and doing X metcons to stay in shape over Christmas. Fitness—as defined by Greg Glassman (CEO and founder of CrossFit)—is how competent you are in the 10 General Physical Skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. There’s a whole lot of room to operate in there that doesn’t require a barbell, rig, or even a CrossFit affiliate. Get out there and try something new this holiday season, and I’m sure you’ll see the benefits when you return to the box in the new year.

 

Sleep & Body Composition

Sleep & Body Composition
Written by Nichole DeHart

Many of you know how important sleep is. You can feel the effects that little sleep can have, like grogginess, lack of energy and poor reasoning abilities. Getting little or poor sleep can also contribute to a higher body composition and can put up a nasty fight with you when trying to lose weight. But do you know why?

Well, I turned to some research by Charles Poliquin to find out more about how sleep affects your body composition. If you haven’t heard of this guy, then immediately after reading this post, do a Google search of him and read about all the ways he has pioneered the health and fitness world.

Some studies that Poliquin reference show a direct correlation between sleep quantity and quality and weight loss. When a person is tired and exhausted, their hormones go crazy and get out of balance. A small hormonal shift in your body can have a significant impact of your ability to not only lose weight but to also hinder putting on muscle (a.k.a – #GAINZ).

Poor sleep also impacts the regulation of the hypothalamus. You want your hypothalamus to be as regulated as possible since it controls hunger, fatigue, sleep and the circadian rhythm. Poor sleep can alter the activity of the hypothalamus, which directly increases cortisol. Higher cortisol can increase appetite in some individuals, and can enhance fat storage. Sleep depervation will also alter the brain’s ability to use glucose, which effects glucose metabolism throughout the body, resulting also in fat gain. No bueno!

A study recently conducted on men revealed that just one night of short sleep drastically lowered their testosterone levels in the morning. Can you imagine what would happen to your testosterone levels if you habitualy lack quality sleep?

So far, we have a lack of sleep hindering the primary role of the hypothalamus, alters our glucose sensitivity and can lower testosterone – sounds like a recipe for disaster and immediate weight gain!

After reading this, you may realize that you are not getting enough sleep…AT ALL! I am fully aware of how busy each and every one of us can be, so here are a few tips to help get the biggest bang for your buck when going to bed!

Tip #1 – Commit to get a certain amount of sleep nightly. Try to stay on your sleep schedule on the weekends as well. You can’t make up your partying ways from the weekend by sleeping in one day…sadly, it just doesn’t work like that!

Tip #2 – Work with your “chronotype” or your natural tendency to be a morning person or an evening person. Your hormone regulation will be way more balanced if you honor your normal sleeping patterns.

Tip #3 – No blue light! In fact, keep all light out of your room. Go purchase some blackout curtains, cover up the blinking lights in your room and read an actual book instead of being on the computer.

Tip #4 -Meditate before bed. Try to get as calm of a mind as possible. Clearing your mind, paired with slow, deep breaths (try to get six breathes per minute), will help you get relaxed.

Tip #5 – Take some magnesium. I am a huge fan of Natural CALM (it is a magnesium supplement) and I take that before bed. Magnesium is vital for the function of GABA receptors, which is a calming neurotransmitter that the brain requires to switch “off.” Most people lack magnesium, so start supplementing with it today! See Coach Michele’s post, Top 7 Supplements for Athletes, for more information about supplement timing and what to look for in your supplements.

There are many other ways to help aid in a good night’s sleep but these are the tips that I have had the most success with. If you are looking to lose weight, then prioritize your sleep. You will be shocked by how much more viberance and energy you’ll have!

If you have other suggestions to getting enough sleep or improving the quality of your sleep, please post to comments! And look for more sleep tips next month when we focus on the National Fitness Holiday ‘Nocturnal November’ – that’s how important it is!

 

References

Dettoni, J., Marciano, F., et al. Cardiovascular Effects of {partial Sleep Deprivation in Healthy Volunteers. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2012. Published Ahead of Print.

Chaput, J., et al. Sleeping Habits Predict the Magnitude of fat Los in Adults Exposed to Moderate Calorie Restriction. Obesity Facts. 2012. 5(4), 561-566.

http://www.poliquingroup.com/Tips/tabid/130/entryid/1939/Tip-544-Lose-Fat-By-Getting-More-Sleep.aspx

http://www.poliquingroup.com/Tips/tabid/130/entryid/1207/Tip-349-Get-Enough-Sleep-to-Get-Lean-For-Summer-Better-Heart-Health-Too.aspx