Thanks to all who came out for this year’s Holiday Potluck!
On Saturday, we held our first Weightlifting competition. Although we had a small pool of competitors we were impressed with the lifting as many achieved Personal Records (PRs). We were also impressed by the amount of spectators that came out to support our lifters and be a part of the action. A big thanks goes out to Kevin E. and Recluse Photo for volunteering his time to take some amazing pictures that can be found on his site here. For those of you who weren’t able to stick around for the results here were Saturday’s top lifters:
Top Intrepid Women:
Kathy (123.52 Sinclair)
Top Intrepid Men:
Michael H. (212.97 Sinclair)
David P. (190.99)
Jeff M. (182.48)
On Sunday, we had two teams WOD Series Partner Competition: Kristen and Cristina in the Intermediate Female category and Ruth and Holley and the Advanced Female category. It was a long, cold day of workouts and a tougher day for Cristina and Kristen but both showed their true Intrepid spirit giving their best efforts despite battling injuries even if it meant doing double unders and wallball shots on one leg! Ruth and Holley excelled with the four workouts and took home silver placing second overall!
Upcoming events here at Intrepid include a Nutrition Challenge beginning in January, our Strongman clinic on Jan 11th (sign up here), the 2014 Winter Shakedown Team CrossFit competition at CrossFit Rep Scheme in Feb, an in-house partner CrossFit competition in the spring, and the 2014 CrossFit Open begins in March. If interested in participating in any CrossFit or Weightlifting competitions please let Ruth and I know so we can keep you posted on upcoming events.
Broth is one of the simplest things to make, almost as simple to make as toast. The idea is to boil the life out of animal bones with the help of apple cider vinegar and seasonings. There are loads of variations on this basic recipe and a few ways to prepare it. Using a crockpot is the simplest and hands off and then there is the gumbo size pot placed on the stovetop . You continually add boiling water and let it simmer for longer. I am a huge fan of bone broth and as Marcus stated in his post a few winters ago, it is loaded with benefits.
Setting yourself up for several weeks of broth heaven won’t’ cost you more than $50. And you know where your bones and ingredients are coming from (hopefully grass few cows and local produce). For a basic broth I use a combination of knuckles, necks and bones. Too many marrow bones can cause your broth to be oily. Apple cider vinegar is essential for any kind of broth adventure. The acidity of the vinegar draws out the beneficial minerals from the bones. From here, one can get really creative. I made two batches. One was strictly the bone combo, ACV, salt, pepper and onion. The other I went down the Vietnamese route and attempted to recreate the comforting spicy warmth of Vietnamese pho.
Pho is basically bone broth with the following spices added. Whole star anise, whole cloves, corriander pods, cinnamon sticks, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and green onions. I placed all of the spices in a cheese cloth satchel (which can be purchased from a cooking store). One of the first step is to blanche the bones. Basically boil the bones for about 10 minutes or so to get rid of the surface impurities and then dump that water.
Refill the pot with new water and add the spices, ginger and onions. Let it simmer down for anywhere from 8-24 hours. Boom! “Phake Pho”.
Earlier this week one of our athletes suffered a head injury while doing a WOD. During the run she slipped and hit her head on the ground. Fortunately, all she received was a small bump on her forehead and some scratches on her arm. This could have easily been an uglier situation. Any bump, blow or jolt to the head/body that causes the head to move or stop rapidly can lead to a concussion. I recently took a course in concussion in sports and learned a few things. Concussions can occur in any sport, which even means Crossfit. If an athlete in the gym were to suffer a concussion the signs and symptoms observed by the coaches and/or other athletes would include one or more of the following; athlete appears dazed or stunned, confused about what he/she is doing, moves clumsily, answers questions slowly, loss of consciousness, shows behavior or personality changes, and cannot recall events prior to or after the injury. When a concussion takes place it can affect 4 areas of functionality: the way the person feels (headaches and fatigue), how they think (memory loss and concentration issues), change in emotions (may become irritable or sad), and problems with sleep (trouble staying awake or falling asleep).
Recovery depends on the severity of the concussion, but always starts with receiving medical attention. Usually a CAT scan is involved and the doctor is the only one that can allow the athlete back to the activity. In some cases it can take weeks to return to activity while other times it can take months. There is a current lawsuit taking place at a local high school in the area regarding a concussion. A female water polo player was struck in the head with the ball while playing against male water polo players. This incident happened earlier this fall and her concussion is so bad that she still cannot attend classes because she cannot concentrate on the course material.
It can be difficult to prevent a concussion, but at Intrepid we take the appropriate safety measures when dealing with heavy weight overhead, and all movements in general, so that hopefully we never have to come across a concussion situation.
It also is a very busy weekend for Intrepids. Good luck to those competing in the Weightlifting meet as well as those participating in the partner competition!
Tomorrow we have our in house olympic lifting meet. For most of you this will be your first time lifting according to USAW standards. You might be nervous and understandably so. It is definitely nerve racking standing on the platform by yourself in front of a crowd, let alone your peers. The pressure is on. The bar is loaded for your first attempt, your name is called. You take a deep breath, chalk up, and step out on to the platform. The room grows quiet and you can hear your own heart beat. The clock is ticking, counting down the seconds you have to complete your lift. Quiet your mind. Quiet the doubts. Quiet the failed attempts. EMBRACE THIS MOMENT. It is yours. Ignore the crowd. It’s just you and the bar. See that successful lift in your head and feel the strength rise within you. Some of you may hit a new PR and in that case, you’ll feel on top of your game. Standing tall, standing proud to achieve that goal. On the other hand, some of you may fail. The weight of the bar might have been too much, today. But take that fail and learn from it. Was it technique? Too high of a jump in weight? Do you need to work on front squats to drive yourself out of the bottom of the squat clean? Is your lack of shoulder mobility preventing you from getting your personal best in a snatch? Whatever the case may be, whether you PR or fail, you got out there. You left it all on the platform and that’s no easy feat.
Here’s a pretty awesome video that highlights a few olympic lifters to get you pumped for tomorrow.
I read a great article on the breaking muscle website the other day called “Why Athletes Need to Understand the Concept of Torque.” If you understand the concept of torque, not only will it improve your movements, more importantly, it will make you safer. Let’s begin with a basic definition, torque is the tendency of a force to cause or change the rotational movement of a body. I like the example used in the breaking muscle article where they explain the concept of torque using a heavy door. If you push on the heavy door near the hinge, it is difficult to open, however if you push the side opposite the hinge, the door opens easily. There are also some good graphics in the article if you are having an issue grasping the concept. So what does this have to do with your safety?
The body is essentially made up of a bunch of pulleys and levers, which require the application of torque to function. In order to make these systems function, you want to apply the minimum amount of torque at precisely the right moment to accomplish the required amount of work. When that torque is applied is the most important time for your muscles to be active and generate force to support the joint/ligaments/fascia that are experiencing the strain. One of the most common injuries you hear about that results in a tear as a result of lack of muscular support during a time of greatest torque is an ACL injury.
As you can imagine, this is why we focus so much on body position in certain parts of your lifts or even body weight movements. We want you to be in the most effective position for your muscular system to support your joints at the points of highest torque. Take the push up for example, we encourage you to keep your arms at a 45 degree angle (more like an arrow) as opposed to a t-position so that when you’re at the bottom of the push up exerting the maximum amount of torque on the shoulders, your joint is in the best possible position for your muscular system to support the joint.
I encourage you all to read the full article, they do a pretty good job of simplifying a somewhat complex physics problem.
I’ve begun reading / following a few of the main ancestral health proponents but I must say the more I get into it the more I’m getting confused about paleo vs. primal vs. Whole30 vs. I don’t know what. Would be interested to hear your take on it…. as long as you tell me I can still eat cheese
You might not like the answer, at least where it comes to the cheese. (Fair warning!)
I’ll start off with Primal, and if you’re going to do it properly, you should head over to Mark’s Daily Apple, as Mark Sisson is pretty much the source for the Primal methodology via his book, The Primal Blueprint. I’ve noticed that some people gravitate towards Primal since it is a bit more liberal with certain things, particularly dairy. Ruth broke down some of the differences back in her post from 2010, although there are likely some updates to that topic in the almost four years since it was written. At it’s core, Primal encourages basing your meals around a protein source, lots of vegetables, good fats and adding some fruit and nuts to top things off. It also is based around eliminating grains and sugars.
Paleo has many definitions, depending on who you ask. This is largely why I refrain from using the term, as people have gone too far afield with how they interpret its meaning. At the core, Paleo is based upon the theory that our ancestors did not exhibit many of the modern diseases we now see. From there, it was hypothesized that emulating the eating patterns of our ancestors may alleviate those illnesses. Now you’ve probably heard this before, but this has actually worked for a number of people as anecdotal evidence. There have been some studies to look at various factors of the Paleo diet, such as eliminating gluten, but very few, if any, have focused on having people strictly on a Paleo diet. Boiling it down to the basics, it will sound familiar. Paleo encourages eliminating all grains, dairy and sugars, basing your meals around lean protein sources, lots of vegetables, good fats and adding some fruit and nuts. They also encourage avoiding legumes, which includes beans and peanuts, due to the potentially inflammatory lectins contained within.
There are a few areas where people tend to go wrong with Paleo. One is when they think they need to dress as a caveman, eat their meat raw, or shun utensils. If you think this, please stop. You’re being ridiculous. Another misstep is when people use the argument that anything available to a caveman is therefore fine to eat in unlimited quantity. Keep in mind the avoidance of sugars and quit with the arguments that honey or maple syrup are okay because they’re “natural”! Lastly, and somewhat related, is when they focus on converting desserts and snacks to “Paleo-friendly” recipes. Whole9 had a recent post on their Facebook page to this topic:
…we’re not the only ones who think the widespread focus on Paleo treats does the ancestral health community overall a disservice. People don’t need help making more desserts – they need help making consistent, sweeping changes to their lifestyle that fosters success with their goals, vibrant health and surprising amounts of happiness. If you write a blog or share recipes, we challenge you to write more everyday recipes, publish more tips for shopping or saving food dollars or finding quality animal products in your neighborhood. If there was never another Paleo recipe ever published, there would already be more than you could ever eat in your (healthy) lifetime.
I’ll close by talking about Whole9 and their Whole30 program. Almost a year ago, we at Intrepid decided to become a Whole9 Nutrition Partner. This is because of all the various sources available, Whole9 makes the entire approach to food very comprehensible and easy to implement. We like the Nutrition Guide they put together and we are proud to distribute it to new Intrepids when they have nutrition questions. Last year prior to the Nutrition Challenge, I put on a seminar and we handed out the guide to all attendees. If you’re an Intrepid regular who didn’t get a copy and want one, please let one of the trainers know!
Whole9′s criteria for food is based on whether it meets their 4 Good Food Standards. I’m going to sound like a broken record, but this ends up being based around protein, lots of vegetables, good fats and occasional fruit and nuts. Sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it?
During the Nutrition Challenge, when people told me they were going to follow the Whole30, then transition to Paleo, I wondered if they knew what they were talking about. As you can see, the two should be identical, but maybe they were thinking of a definition of Paleo where honey and maple syrup were allowed?
Speaking of Nutrition Challenges, mark your calendars now. The 2014 Nutrition Challenge will be starting in January 2014. More details to come…
Max Height Box Jump
10 Thrusters (95/65)
10 Hang Power Cleans (95/65)
50m Partner Carry
Athlete does thrusters while partner does hang power cleans. Both will run out to street, perform partner carry 50m, switch and return.
Many of you have grown up playing team sports as a kid; some of you may still be on a hockey, basketball, or soccer team. But all of you, by virtue of coming to class, is on a team here. You all know the joys of setting a PR (personal record) and the frustration of failing a lift. Even though it seems counter-intuitive, taking the time to watch and cheer on someone else’s set will help you succeed in yours.
Catalyst Athletics posted a great article today by Mike Gray about how to be a good teammate when it comes to lifting. He lists 10 tips and while the article is geared towards a weightlifting club, they pretty much all apply to us here at Intrepid. Here’s an excerpt, but take the time to read through the rest of them here.
1. BE SUPPORTIVE! This was something that always took me by surprise my first six months or so in weightlifting: When I approached the bar, I would get tons of encouraging words (probably because I needed them) directed towards me. Personally I think it’s important and it’s something you should do with sincerity.
5. Be humble. I trained with National Champions and Olympians early on and they were all humble, so it always shocked me when I would train with somebody that hadn’t done much of anything in the sport who wasn’t.
6. Help out the new guys. They might be too intimidated to ask and will just keep their heads down and plod away. Give them some tips, and always be helpful.
10. The last one, and it’s the most important: If you are having a [bad] day—and let’s be honest, it’s going to happen—don’t make everyone else’s day like yours. Get behind them and be the supportive teammate you would want behind you.
I’d like to add another tip, although it’s really an extension of #10. We were at a meet years ago and saw a lifter who missed a lift and blamed it on the photographer’s flash in the back of the room. This was an experienced lifter who was no stranger to being on the platform, yet he chose to blink and gesture angrily at the photographers and storm off the platform. Needless to say, the flashes “sabotaged” his next lift as well. So unless someone walks directly in front of you to where you can smack their behind from your start position, or someone physically impedes your bar path (like the photographer did to Avelyne at a Shakedown competition), don’t play that game. Everyone misses lifts. Miss with grace and don’t transfer the blame to save face.
The atmosphere is a huge contributor to how you perform. Think back to a class when the people were energetic, with some friendly banter, and lots of encouragement going on. And now picture one of those classes where the people don’t really know each other; they avoid eye contact and no one pays attention to each other’s lifts. Cheer each other on during lifts and WODs. Bring a positive vibe and others will follow suit.
So November has come to an end and it’s time to see who achieved their goals on the board. Post to comments your goal, whether it was achieved, and what you did to make it happen. Did you pick too easy of a goal or was it just right?
If you didn’t make it, what do you think went wrong? Did you pick a goal that would take longer to attain or could you have worked harder to make it happen? Be honest. While there is no mandatory ‘punishment’ for not hitting your goal, I would suggest perhaps incentivizing yourself somehow (ie No cheat days/TV/shopping at Lulu until goal is achieved).
Tomorrow we’ll erase the board and start over. This time we’ll have you all write up a one month goal and one two month goal. They can be related (ie 10 strict pull ups, 20 strict pull ups), or completely different. You have a better idea now of what you can accomplish in a month, so choose wisely and work hard.
3 Rope Climbs
30 Toes to Bar
60 Kettlebell Snatches (53/35)
90 Double Unders
Happy Birthday, Christiaan! And congrats for winning the Intrepid Survivor League!
This Saturday we’ll be holding our first Olympic Weightlifting competition in our current facility. It has been a long time coming and we’re excited at the interest we’ve seen so far. This competition is not a USA Weightlifting sanctioned meet and therefore singlets are not required, but encouraged for those looking into weightlifting competitively. We’ll otherwise be running Saturday’s event as much like a real Weightlifting meet as possible. Revisit Ruth’s recent post “Weightlifting Meet Rules” for another refresher on what to expect on Saturday. Please make sure you’ve registered using this link and remember all the proceeds are being donated to USA Weightlifting as our athletes are already preparing for the 2016 Olympic Games being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Women will weigh-in at 9am and begin lifting soon after. Men will weigh-in and lift once the ladies are completed. We’re still looking for volunteers to help with things like bar loading and entering data into a spreadsheet, and yes volunteers can also lift. Overall top male and top female lifters will be determined using the Sinclair coefficient. Remember, you’ll have three attempts in the snatch and then three attempts in the clean and jerk. For those of you still on the fence just think of it as your WOD for the day and come in to do some heavy lifting that may or may not be PRs. It also helps us as coaches see what you need to work on the most to continue your progress as an athlete.
Also, our annual Holiday Potluck Party will take place immediately following the Weightlifting Meet this Saturday right here in the gym. Nothing works up an appetite like throwing around heavy weights! We’ll put a sign up board by the office to see what everyone is bringing. We’ll also be taking our holiday picture at the party so clear your calendar!
Front Squat 3-3-3
Overhead Squats (145/103)
GI Janes (Burpee Pull Ups)
Bone Broth Season. Sneak Peek into next weeks post . . .
I have to be honest here. I am just coming out of a flu fog a really didn’t like any of the ideas I came up with for a post. I haven’t worked out in about a week and it’s killing me. I thought to myself what could I write about? I rolled a TP ball under my foot while manipulating a pair of lacrosse balls in my hand. Um, DUH! I’ll write about what you can do when your body shuts down and gets busy fighting off viruses.
First off, if you do feel even the slightest tickle in your throat or heat in your forehead be safe and considerate of others. Stay home or take pre cold precautions. Listen to your body. Nobody wants any strain of whatever this thing is that’s going around. Side note: 103 F fever for more than 2 days does require a visit to the ER and has a neat side effect of hallucinations and confusion. Don’t workout! That’s the real message here. Here is what I do suggest you do in a time of illness.
1: For Time: Sleep.
Make this one count! Sleep hard and as often as you need to. Most shows can be recorded for later viewing, nothing is SO important that you must stay up.
2: AMRAP All the time: Fluids
Water, tea, bone broth. Get those fluids in so they can flush out the waste your cells creat whlst fighting off those nasty viruses.
3. Working on your grip.
I have this handy dandy forearm trainer from REI. I can use it while I’m laying down and while I don’t use it to fatigue my arm, I do use it enough to feel productive. Also, as I mentioned before, I use two lacrosse balls in one hand and roll them around each other practicing hand and finger coordination. Much like Chinese Health Balls.
4. Foam/Lacrosse ball rolling.
Now, this does take some energy to do, so I would incorporate this when you are on the mend. And it helps get you back on track when you’ve basically been laying or sitting down for what seems like weeks. Rolling of any kind does start the process of flushing out toxins so refer back to #2 to keep everything on the ‘out flow’.
5. Don’t stress out, about anything!
I’m sure you have a wonderful network of friends and family that can help you with any and everything. So don’t be afraid to ask. Are you craving egg drop soup? I’m sure you can find a friend to make it for you and even pick it up from a restaurant and bring it to you.
Is there anything else low energy and good for you that you suggest during a flu/cold recovery?
On December 21, Winter Solstice, also known as the longest and darkest day of the year is the perfect time for the Manhattan Beach Yuletide 5k. The tradition of night running on the beach is back again. No need to worry about the darkness because the course will be lit by luminarias and all pre-registered runners will receive glow necklaces. The 5:30pm race starts and ends under the Christmas lights of the Manhattan Beach pier. Participants will be heading north on the hard sand to 45th street and then return back to the pier. Normally running on the sand can be difficult, but the low tide creates a solid surface to race on. It would be more like running on a trail or dirt road. Mile markers are placed throughout the course so those looking to push their limits can easily keep track of their pace. Those looking to enjoy the scenery can walk the race too. Besides the 5k race, there are three different races for the little ones. The Elves Dash 1k (ages 7-12) starts at 6:30pm, the Little Elves 400 meter dash (ages 3-6) starts at 6:40pm and the Crawlers 50 meter race (ages 2 and under) starts at 6:50pm. As you can tell this event is for the entire family. Since it is still early the cost is not too expensive. Adults are $35 and kids are $30. This race definitely sounds like fun since I have never been part of a night race. I think it would be a great idea to get an Intrepid team to participate. If anyone is interested go ahead and let me know and we can put something together.
In Teams of 3:
75 Toes 2 Bar (Hang from bar)
60 Tire Flips (Holds a plank)
75 Box Jumps (Holds a squat)
75 Burpees (Holds a hollow)
Cash Out- Rope Climb Skills and Foam Roll
*One person works, one person does active rest, and one person rests