Food Challenge Recap: Alejandro 

Push Jerk
3-3-3-3-3-3-3

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Food Challenge Recap: Alejandro

Next up in our food challenge recaps?  Alejandro Soto!

I have been horribly overweight for over a decade , and for over a decade I have struggled to both lose the excess weight and not regain it. Frustratingly, gaining weight has always been easier than losing weight. In fact, the weight gain was insidious, creeping up on me even when I thought I was doing everything right (i.e. following the diet guidelines that have been giving to us for the last fifty years or so). When I rejoined Roots last August, I decided that I would try any food challenges that the coaching staff put out there. If I was to ever lose the weight, I had no choice but to use all of the help and motivation that anyone offered me. So, I signed up for the food challenges last fall and this spring, which is one of the best things that I did in the last year.

I was especially interested in the Paleo diet. I had moderate but unsustainable success with the Zone diet in the past, but the Paleo diet was new to me. Though I knew very little about the Paleo diet at the start of last fall’s challenge, there was no downside to trying this diet, one which many of the Roots coaches heartily recommended.

My success in losing weight in the last nine months is due to participating in both the Fall Challenge and the Spring Challenge. Therefore, when I talk about my success with the food challenge, I am really talking about both of them. A one or two month food challenge, in isolation, will not cut it. Instead, it was the one month challenge last October followed by months trudging through the paleo diet on my own followed by this spring’s two month challenge that led to my recent success.

Why do I call my weight loss a success? Because for me it has been drastic. In the Fall Challenge, I lost 8.4 pounds total, which included a loss 9.9 pounds of fat and a gain of 1.5 pounds of lean body mass. This meant that I went from 36.6% body fat (yes, I started off that overweight) to 33.9% body fat. After the Fall Challenge I tried to keep Paleo, but I was not strict 24/7. In that time, November 2013 to March 2014, I lost 2.4 pounds total (3.8 pounds of fat lost; 1.4 pounds of lean body mass gained), which meant I went from 33.9% body fat to 32.6% body fat. Finally, in this Spring Challenge I was able to really step up the weight loss. From April 15th (I missed the originally dunk tank dates due to travel) to June 6th I lost a total of 14.6 pounds (11.5 pounds of fat loss; 3.1 pounds of lean body mass lost), leaving me with  29.8% body fat. That’s 25.2 pounds of fat lost, which I feel comfortable declaring a success.

The numbers only tell part of the story. The weight loss in the fall was a good amount, but only a few people noticed — basically the coaches. With this Spring Challenge, the loss was very noticeable an lots of people at Roots commented on my success, which was awesome encouragement (thanks!). Plus, the weight loss helped with the workouts: running is now easier, I can suffer through more burpees, I am much closer to a rope climb, and I dropped down a band in assisted pull-ups. The benefits of eating Paleo really snowballed this spring, rewarding me for sticking with the Paleo diet during the non-challenge months when the progress was slow.

To succeed at these challenges I had to address a dominant part of my personality: I am a workaholic. I love what I do so I end up working long hours. That is when I used to eat poorly; when I got home late and was too tired to cook, suddenly fast food became an enticing option. To deal with this during the challenge I spent one of the early weekends cooking a large batch of food, around thirty individual meals, that I then stored in my freezer. Then, when I had a busy day and no time to cook a lunch or dinner, I just grabbed a soup or chili or stew from the freezer, heated it up, and had a good Paleo meal in under ten minutes. Most days I cooked a meal from fresh ingredients, but the homemade frozen food really helped for lunches and dinners when work and life got crazy. I also used a strategy suggested by Sarah Levin, another Roots athlete in the Spring Challenge: I pre-cooked a week’s worth of sausage and vegetables that I could add to scrambled eggs on the fly for a nearly instant breakfast. Basically, having ready to go Paleo meals was my challenge, which I achieved through some aggressive planning and preparation. Once I did this, the rest of the Paleo eating just fell in place.

When I traveled for work, my Paleo eating routine was completely disrupted. Airports, hotels, and conference rooms are dark pits of anti-healthy eating (and some business colleagues are the minions of these dark pits). I tried traveling with fruits and vegetables while being a picky eater at restaurants, but I still have not found a consistently successful strategy for eating Paleo while on business travel.

Beyond the physical changes, this Spring Challenge helped me with another important goal: I have completely stopped using sugar in teas and coffees. After dropping processed sugar for two months during the Spring Challenge, I can not imagine once again adding sugar to tea and coffee. This is an addiction that I am happy to have broken and will happily keep broken.

At the end of this Spring Challenge I feel great, but my work is far from over. I still have another 15 to 20 pounds I want and need to lose. Therefore, I am trying to continue the rules: eating Paleo with win meals and drinking opportunities. I have continued logging my meals everyday and tracking my weight regularly. I want to get back to four to five Crossfit workouts each week, since those workouts really helped in the Spring Challenge. I have also added a training goal to go along with the weight-loss goal: unassisted pull-ups (kipping or strict). Fortunately, the two goals go together, so as I lose more weight my work on pull-ups will really pay off. After a decade of struggling with my weight, I feel the end is in sight thanks to the Paleo challenges and the Crossfit program provided by Crossfit Roots. I just need to take the tools that Roots has given me and head for the finish.

 

First Workouts of the 2014 CrossFit Games Announced 

Muscle Snatch 1-1-1-1-1
Power Snatch 3-3-3-3-3
Snatch 5-5-5-5-5

Googs looking good overhead

Googs looking good overhead

First Workouts of the 2014 CrossFit Games Announced

Check out the workouts that have been announced so far… what else do you think they’ll come up with?

Cool Cruel Summer July is This Thursday 

12min EMOTM, alternating:
5 deadlifts (285/195)
10 C2B pullups

Consistency

Consistency

Cool Cruel Summer July is This Thursday

Get the details here.

 

Wyk 

Wyk

5 rounds for time:
225-lb. front squats, 5 reps
15-foot rope climbs, 5 ascents
Run 400 meters with a 45-lb. plate

Arch thinks bar muscle ups are easier than rings. What do you think?

Arch thinks bar muscle ups are easier than rings. What do you think?

Shout Out Friday! 

4 rounds for time of:
50-calorie row
40 GHD sit-ups
30 pull-ups

We just can't get enough of these overhead squat pictures!  Yea Martha!

We just can’t get enough of these overhead squat pictures! Yea Martha!

Shout Out Friday!

Here’s your chance.  Give props, big-ups, and kuddos to the folks you workout next to everyday.  

Did you see someone make a break through, do something great, or something nice?  Here’s your chance to give them the credit they deserve, it’s shout out Friday!

What exactly is a shout out?  See below.

shout-out (n.) Slang. A public expression of thanks or gratitude.  A kind mention of a homey.

Examples include:
“I’d like to give a shout-out to Brendi for rocking the squats ladder”
“I’d like to give a shout-out to Stacey killing the workout on Wednesday” 
“I’d like to give a shout-out to the teens for displaying some super fly CrossFit lately!”

Post to comments your shout-outs. 

Cool Cruel Summer July is Next Thursday (July 17th) 

For time:
10 power cleans (155/105)
3 strict handstand pushups
9 power cleans
3 strict handstand pushups
8 power cleans
3 strict handstand pushups
7 power cleans
3 strict handstand pushups
6 power cleans
3 strict handstand pushups
5 power cleans
3 strict handstand pushups
4 power cleans
3 strict handstand pushups
3 power cleans
3 strict handstand pushups
2 power cleans
3 strict handstand pushups
1 power cleans
3 strict handstand pushups

Bathroom Flyers - Cool Cruel Summer 3

Cool Cruel Summer July is Next Thursday (July 17th)

In just one week we ramp up the Cool Cruel Summer Series just one more notch.

DJ Double Under will be here to spin musical beats to the four workouts heats.

The workout?
McGhee
AMRAP 30 minutes:
275 pound Deadlift, 5 reps
13 Push-ups
9 Box jumps, 24 inch box

Yes, we did this about five weeks ago.  Hopefully you tracked your progress and know what scaled options and how many rounds you logged.  Come on in to test your fitness and see if you improve!

The Heats and Their Music
DJ Double Under has mixed some epic play lists for four heats.  Sign-up for a time that works for you or for a musical ensemble that will push you through the workout!

4:30pm – Light (Pop)
5:05pm – Medium (Rap)
5:40pm – Dark (Electronic Dance Music)
6:15pm – Burnt (Hardcore/Hard Rock)

The Food
The FATE BBQ truck will be at Roots with delicious dinner options available for purchase and Suerte Tequila will have tasty cocktails to sample.  We are excited an honored to welcome these local Boulder and Boulder-based businesses, and their owners, who are also athletes at Roots, to the Cool Cruel Summer! 

Questions?  Post to comments.

On the Minute… 

Body-weight back-squat ladder
Rest 5 minutes
3/4 body-weight push-press ladder
Rest 5 minutes
1 1/2 body-weight deadlift ladder

For the ladder pattern, perform one rep the first minute, two reps the second minute, three reps the third minute, continuing as long as you are able. Use as many sets each minute as needed.

Post number of minutes completed for each exercise to comments.

Eye of the tiger in Emily during last week's overhead squat work.

Eye of the tiger in Emily during last week’s overhead squat work.

On the Minute…

If today’s workout looks very involved…well, you’re right!  It’s also going to be a TON of fun.  Read below for info on how to prepare and approach this workout!

This workout is done on the minute, in a ladder structure.  This type of workout is also referred to as “death by.”

You’ll do one rep in the first minute, two reps in the second minute…and so on until you are not able to complete the specified number of reps in that minute.  You can complete your required reps in any number of sets within the minute.  So, if you’re on the 10th minute and need to get in 10 reps, you can complete them in sets of 3-3-2-1-1 as long as you are done within the minute.  There is NO credit for partial rounds so your score will be 8, not 8+4.

There is a five minute rest after you fail your set.  That means everyone will move onto the next exercise at slightly different times.  You’ll need to keep track of your own five minute rest!

Should you need a scaled option, we’ve got you covered (of course!).  The best thing you can do to come prepared is to know your body weight and your one rep max deadlift and or back squat!  

Questions?  Post to comments.

 

 

 

CrossFit Kids and Teens Fall Program Survey 

4 rounds for time of:
50 squats
40 back extensions
30 push-ups

CrossFit Teens pause for a rare photo opportunity - then it was back to crushing the workout!

CrossFit Teens pause for a rare photo opportunity – then it was back to crushing the workout!

CrossFit Kids and Teens Fall Program Survey

CrossFit Kids and CrossFit Teens are working hard this summer!

And we’re also looking ahead to the Fall.

This quick survey (7 questions) will let us know how best to schedule Kids and Teens classes as the school year begins.  Your input is much appreciated.

Take the survey now!

The 2014 Roots Summer Oly Meet 

10 sprints for time:
Row 150 meters
Rest 1 minute

Check the blog tomorrow for the CrossFit Kids and Teens fall class survey.  Your input helps us make the best schedule!

Check the blog tomorrow for the CrossFit Kids and Teens fall class survey. Your input helps us make the best schedule!

The 2014 Roots Summer Oly Meet

The Roots Summer Oly Meet is a little over a month away and we’re gearing up for another awesome competition!

The meet is August 9th and starts at 10am.

This is the second of the two meet series with prizes awarded to overall man and woman series winner. We will have a women’s only flight and a men’s only flight, each flight has up to 16 competitors. If a third flight is needed, we will add it.

Register here for the Summer Oly Meet! Registration is 25$.

This meet is not USAW sanctioned so singlet’s and USAW membership are not required. We will follow a no press-out rule for the snatch and clean and jerk. Three attempts each will be given for snatch and clean and jerk. There will be set flights and no re-ordering of attempts.

Details: Contested lifts are the snatch and clean and jerk.  Prizes awarded to the top man and women lifter and determined by the Sinclair Coefficient. There aren’t weight classes, however, your weight is a factor in the coefficient. Coffee will be provided!

Series: Meet 1 was the Spring Oly Meet. Meet 2 is the Summer Oly Meet. Competitors who lift in both meets are eligible for the overall man and woman series winner and prize recipient.

Questions/comments: Email Ryan Landis at ryan@crossfitroots.com

The Emperor Wears No Clothes 

Split Jerk
2-2-2-2-2
rest 3 minutes
AMRAP 3 minutes
6 box jumps
6 burpees
rest 3 minutes
AMRAP 3 minutes
10 kettlebell swings
100m run

Come on in and get after a split jerk!

Come on in and get after a split jerk!

The Emperor Wears No Clothes

CrossFit draws a lot of attention – both good and bad.

Check out this article – What Motivates CrossFit Haters.

And this one – CrossFit Primal Appeal