A Day in the Life

 
Proper nutrition is the underlying foundation on which health, wellness, and athletic performance are built. Nutrition is also an area where people typically have the most runway to make changes and see immediate improvements to how they look and feel. As such, we typically field a lot of questions regarding what to eat and how improve dietary habits. Instead of writing about the merits of eating a Paleo/Primal diet, I thought I’d give you guys a snapshot of how I typically eat during the week. Pictured below was Monday 14 July.
 
JD meals - day in the life
 
Counterclockwise from the top left-
1) Breakfast – 4 Eggs with smoked gouda cheese, 3 breakfast sausage links (from Balducci’s; I freakin’ love these), bowl of mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), 2 cups of black coffee
Notes: I typically don’t eat breakfast when I wake up, I usually waiting until I finish my morning clients and some work for the gym before eating. Meat/eggs/fruit/coffee is my standard breakfast.
 
2) Salad from Chopt (lettuce, apples, hearts of palm, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, balsamic dressing), watermelon (small serving)
Notes: I try to eat salad for lunch most week days to get in most if not all of my veggies in one meal. Fruit is much more abundant and in-seaon in summer, so I tend to consume much more of it during the summer as a result
 
3) Post-worokout shake (whey protein, dextrose)
Notes: I like drinking a quick shake after working out as a matter of convenience; I also feel like it helps with my recovery between training sessions, and acts a bridge between meals if I am coaching in the evening and don’t have time for solid food
 
4) Grilled skirt steak, steamed green beans, roasted Japanese yams, and guacamole
Notes: This was delicious.
 
On workout days, 3 solid meals + a post workout shake is the norm for me; on non-training days I don’t typically have any liquid food. This is definitely representative of how I strive to eat Monday – Friday, staying regimented and eating clean. Some days I deviate a little bit from this (I eat rice probably 3-5x week depending on the week) if I haven’t don’t a good job of grocery shopping and meal prepping, but I am usually pretty consistent in my eating habits, especially during the week. As with my training and lifestyle advice, I try to practice what I preach when it comes to nutrition. Lastly, remember that there are many ways to skin the cat within the parameters of eating an unprocessed, high quality food diet, this is just how I like to eat personally. Don’t hesitate to send any questions you may have my way!
 

17 July 14

jen k @ crossfit sidewinder

Never home, but always reppin’: Jen in Pensacola, FL!

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2014 CrossFit Games Individual Events
 
Kacy Catanzaro at the 2014 Dallas Finals | American Ninja Warrior (Video)
 
Southwest Turkey Sliders over Spicy Avocado Slaw
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WOD

 
LI Strength:
EZ Strength 4.0
 
LI Conditioning:
AMRAP 10 minutes:
10 Single Arm KB Swings, Left
6 Single Arm DB Push Press, Left
10 Single Arm KB Swings, Right
6 Single Arm DB Push Press, Right
 
LII Strength:
Wendler
Cycle 5, Week 1
 
LII Conditioning:
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Kettlebell Swings
Double Unders
Overhead Squats
 

Stick to the Basics!

 
“Stick to the basics and when you feel you’ve mastered them it’s time to start all over again, begin anew – again with the basics – this time paying closer attention.”Greg Glassman
 
Attention to detail and mastery of the ‘basics’ are fundamental concepts I strongly believe in as a coach, and try to put into practice every class I coach. It is common to want to gloss over the simpler movements in favor of more explosive, technical, more glamorous exercises before the appropriate foundation is laid. This is mistake. Put another way, are you here to train and hone your craft or be entertained?
 
Increased movement speed comes from improved movement efficiency. Increased load, and therefore increased strength and power, comes from improved neuromuscular efficiency, which comes from deliberate practice (repetition). This means we must focus our energy on performing our movements more skillfully and consistently, first and foremost. When it comes to both CrossFit and strength training, you need to recalibrate your expectations and time horizons for progress and advancement. Heathy, sustainable performance improvements are the stuff of delayed gratification. Earn the privilege of performing harder exercises by demonstrating proficiency and skill in their foundational precursors.
 
There is an anecdote in a great documentary called Jiro Dreams of Sushi wherein the sushi apprentice first learns how to make the rice for months, if not years, before being allow to handle the fish simply in a preparatory context. It will be many years still until the apprentice sushi chef can actually prepare and make the sushi. If you cannot make the rice correctly (fundamental to great sushi), why would we possibly let you handle something as important as the fish? That privilege can only be earned, much like it should be in the gym. I challenge you all to be much more mindful and exacting in your own movement practice, seeking to refine and improve technically every time you set foot in the gym.
 

16 July 14

chuck ball slam
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Ilya Ilyin 195kg/429# Block Snatch (Video)
 
7 Recent Food Epiphanies That Set Me Free
 
Shrimp with Citrus Avocado Mash
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WOD

 
LI Strength:
EZ Strength 4.0
 
LI Conditioning:
3 Rounds:
300 meter Run
20 Lunges (total)
15 Anchored Situps
10 Ring Rows
 
LII Strength:
Wendler
Cycle 5, Week 1
 
LII Conditioning:
Run 800m
30 Lunges
12 Toes to Bar
10 Burpees
Run 400m
30 Lunges
12 Toes to Bar
10 Burpees
Run 200m
30 Lunges
12 Toes to Bar
10 Burpees
 

On Leadership

 

“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.” – Chris Hadfield

 

15 July 14

start of throwdown run wod
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RE2PECT. (video)
 
CrossFit, neuroscience, surviving the zombie apocalypse: Is your workout a fraud?
 
Great Ingredients: No Recipe Required
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WOD

 
LI Strength:
EZ Strength 2.0
 
LI Conditioning:
AMRAP 12 minutes:
5 Power Swings
5 Burpees
10 Air Squats
 
LII Strength:
Wendler
Cycle 5, Week 1
 
LII Conditioning:
AMRAP 12 minutes:
5 Hang Power Cleans
5 Pull Ups
10 Pushups
 

10 Facts about Coconut Oil

coconut oil
 
From our friends over at Custom Fit Meals-
 
1. It consists primarily of saturated fats called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs): Nearly 90% of the fatty acids in coconut oil are saturated fats. Many studies have proven that the “artery-clogging” idea was a myth and that saturated fats are not likely associated with heart disease. Secondly, coconut oil’s saturated fats are “Medium Chain Triglycerides” (MCTs), which are medium-length fatty acids that go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they quickly become a source of energy.
 
2. It helps regulate blood-sugar levels and can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: Coconut oil can help improve insulin use within the body, helping to regulate blood-sugar levels. Additionally, a recent study found that coconut oil protects against insulin resistance, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
 
3. It helps regulate cholesterol levels: Coconut oil is high in lauric acid (a type of MCT), which increases the so-called “good” (HDL) cholesterol in the blood. Coconut oil also lowers “bad” (LDL) cholesterol by promoting its conversion to pregnenolone, a molecule that is essential for the creation of hormones. So basically, it takes something bad and turns it into something that we need!
 
4. It boosts energy levels: MCTs are broken down in the liver, where they are efficiently converted to energy for the body.
 
5. It boosts metabolism and may assist in weight loss: A study reported in the Journal of Nutrition found that coconut oil boosts metabolism. Researchers found that participants who consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil per day burned more calories than those who consumed less. Furthermore, a 2009 study found that women who ate two tablespoons of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks had lower amounts of abdominal fat, which contributes to heart problems. In addition, they did not gain more weight than those women who did not consume the coconut oil daily.
 
6. It curbs cravings: The high quality fats in coconut oil are extremely satiating. Hunger is an indication that our bodies are not being fed correctly (either in regards to quantity or quality). Proper amounts and quality of fat and protein in our diets provide our bodies with the necessary energy to run properly, and keep our cravings in check.
 
7. It has anti-aging effects and may negate the effects of free radicals: Coconut oil has a positive antioxidant effect on the body by helping to stop the oxidative damage of free radicals. Oxidation is believed to contribute to cardiovascular problems and skin aging.
 
8. It boosts the immune system and has strong antibacterial and antiviral properties: Lauric acid makes up almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil. After coconut oil is digested, the lauric acid is broken down into monolaurin, a type of monoglyceride that kills bacteria and viruses, as well as other harmful pathogens.
 
9. It makes for a great skin moisturizer: This cooking oil also works wonders for the skin, keeping the skin’s connective tissues strong and reducing the appearance of fine lines.
 
10. It is ideal for high-temperature cooking: Consisting primarily of MCT fats, coconut oil has a higher smoke point than most polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils. This makes it ideal for cooking at high temperatures.
 
11. I typically get my coconut oil at either Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods if I’m in a pinch. TJ’s has the best price/quality I’ve seen on coconut oil, and I’ll typically buy a few jars at time because I use it frequently and to ensure there’s always extra in the pantry. The picture above is from Costco; I recently discovered they sell a 54 oz. jar of coconut oil for $15.99, which is a phenomenal price. If you cook with coconut oil like I do, do yourself a favor and give this stuff a try.
 

14 July 14

throwdown rack walk
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Lauren Fisher 120.5kg/265# Front Squat (Video)
 
The Law of First Bites
 
Spiced-Nut Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream
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WOD

 
LI Strength:
EZ Strength 4.0
 
LI Conditioning:
Every minute, complete the following:
5 Ball Slams, then
Minute 1: 1 Dumbbell Push Press
Minute 2: 2 Dumbbell Push Press
Minute 3: 3 Dumbbell Push Press

continue until you cannot complete all reps within one minute
 
LII Strength:
Wendler
Cycle 5, Week 1
 

LII Conditioning:
Every minute, complete the following:
5 Ball Slams, then
Minute 1: 1 Dumbbell Thruster
Minute 2: 2 Dumbbell Thrusters
Minute 3: 3 Dumbbell Thrusters

continue until you cannot complete all reps within one minute
 

Minimum Effect (CrossFit) Dose

 
One of the most commonly asked questions I receive has to do with training frequency, basically boiling down to how often should I come to the gym? The answer: it depends. More specifically, it depends on any and all of the following things:
1) What other physically activity are you already performing?
2) What is your pre-existing fitness level, as well as your prior fitness level/athletic background?
3) What is your recovery capacity from training?
4) How dialed in are your lifestyle factors that support training?, i.e.
-sleep hygiene (how long, how is the quality?)
-diet
-stress levels and capacity to cope with said levels
5) What is your timetable for seeing results? (getting married in a month, or do we have time to make haste slowly)
6) What are your goals / what are you training for?
 
As you can see, a seemingly innocuous question like “how much should I workout?” really is much more complex and multifactorial than it seems. The reality is that things such as optimal training volume are n=1 affairs; you are all unique snowflakes in this regard, and one size fits all prescriptions aren’t typically very useful. With that being said, generally speaking I generally recommend folks start off training twice a week and eventually, over time, work their way to 3x week. Should everyone train 3x week? No. Some people can very easily train more than that, and would probably experience positive changes and improvements as a result. However, hectic work/life schedules as well as other physical pursuits (rec. sports for example) compete for our time, and often make training more than 3x week unsustainable. Striving for 3 quality weightlifting/higher intensity training sessions a week tends to be a sweet spot as far as return on investment of your time and effort is concerned. However, don’t let a good routine be the enemy of the perfect, or ideal routine. Focus on training hard, whether that’s twice a week or five days a week. Remember, consistency trumps short term intensity every time.
 

12 July 14

al front squat
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New on Discovery TV: American Muscle (Video)
 
CrossFit: A Sport of Specificity
 
Spicy Tuna Cakes
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WOD

 
LI Strength:
EZ Strength 4.0
 
LI Conditioning:
Partner WOD
6 Rounds (3 per partner)
10 KB Suitcase Deadlifts
12 Lunges / leg
300m Run
 
LII Strength:
Front Rack Barbell Lunge
6 reps / leg
 
LII Conditioning:
Partner ‘Nancy’
8 Rounds (4 per partner)
15 Overhead Squats (95/63)
400m Run