Keeping it Simple 

15-ft. rope climbs, 10 ascents
100-meter walking lunge
50 dips
100-meter walking lunge
10 muscle-ups

Andrea eats real food and has the push-ups to prove it.

Andrea eats real food and has the push-ups to prove it.

Keeping it Simple

Among the many great aspects of eating real foods is the freedom to ignore the latest, often ridiculous scientific study. The original CrossFit prescription is straightforward and following it a realistic endeavor: “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar.”

Contrast the simplicity of a real food diet with the schizophrenia of nutrition and health advice from the world of science. A quick browse of the Tufts University Health and Nutrition Newsletter revealed these headlines:

  • How to Get Maximum Health Benefits from Tomatoes
  • Green Tea May Enhance Working Memory
  • Does New Study Mean “Butter Is Back”?
  • Are You Getting Enough B12 to Fight Mental Decline?
  • Calcium and Vitamin D May Benefit Cholesterol as Well as Bones
  • Diets Rich in Magnesium Associated with Slower Progression to Diabetes

Imagine following so much advice on a regular basis. Now add-in another six articles next month. And another six the next month. You’d be a crazy person in no time.

And it can get crazier. Like this article: Eating Dark Chocolate May Make Walking Easier. And this one: Scientists Say Smelling Farts Might Prevent Cancer.

Someone out there might be frantically organizing vitamins, chugging green tea, debating whether butter is back, hoarding dark chocolate, and smelling farts, all while progressing towards diabetes anyways.

Just stick with real food.

Pushing Yourself in the Shop 

Front Squat
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

The good morning is very similar to the hip extension performed on the GHD.

The good morning is very similar to the hip extension performed on the GHD.

Pushing Yourself in the Shop

It’s 8pm and you pull up the blog to check out the workout – one of two reactions probably race through your head – “SWEET” or “UHHH.”

In CrossFit, there are a ton of different types of the workout of the day, or the WOD – and they fall into a few main categories and combinations.  In order to find your full fitness potential, you have to push yourself in the gym, no matter the type of workout.  

The elements of a workout fall into three main categories and are combined to create a workout: 

There are short and long workouts and everything in between.  This refers to the time domain of the workout.  We want athletes to have capacity in every time domain under the sun.

There are a number of different equipment pieces we can incorporate into a workout – from barbells to kettlebells and pull-up bars to rings, there is a wide variety of metal that we can throw into a workout!

And there are many many different movements we incorporate that fall into three main categories – gymnastics movements (moving your bodyweight through time and space), weightlifting movements (moving your body plus an external load), and monostructural movements (your traditional “cardio” movements such as running, rowing, and double-unders).

After reading through these descriptions, there are probably one or two areas where you excel and get excited to complete and a few where you find it hard to get excited.  That’s fair – but know that pushing yourself in the gym, no matter what the specific workout of the day is, allows athletes to take full advantage of our program.  

For example, many athletes come to CrossFit having very little lifting experience.  They may come to a back squat day but their effort across five sets is comfortable or perhaps they don’t put five more pounds on the bar when they could.  This seems like a small detail but in a fitness program based on intensity, that amounts to a number of workouts that do not achieve the desired intensity level.

Extrapolate that over months and months and checking the box, rather than pushing yourself in the gym, leads to lowered results.  You can’t just walk through the door and expect results, you have to push yourself.  

Now, that then begs the question, well what about form and technique, and that right there provides the check point for how hard to push yourself.  We don’t obtain more intensity at the expense of form.

 

Sunday Scramble 

50 pull-ups
50 push-ups
50 GHD sit-ups
50 back extensions
50 wall-ball shots, 20-lb. ball
50 box jumps, 24-inch

Marcus Deadlift

Marcus reppin’ the Double Cs during McGhee & the CCS last Thursday. Looking good!

Sunday Scramble

It’s 8:00pm on a Sunday evening.  You headed out of town all weekend, played hard, relaxed well, caught a nap, and now you’re headed home on the Sunday evening let down – Monday morning approaching and no idea what you’re going to have for dinner when you get home from work.

Fear not!  Here’s a quick patch to get you through to Tuesday and a method to make it quick and easy.

Sunday evening grocery stop on the way in to town for:
- ingredients listed here for Mushroom Gravy Slow Cooked Rump Roast
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 1 box salad
- 1 shallot
then, go home and go to bed…BUT set your alarm for :30 minutes earlier than normal (or just plan to go to work :30 minutes late).

Monday morning before work:
- throw all the ingredients for the Rump Roast into the crockpot and set for 8 hours.  This process took me 16 minutes exactly.  

Monday evening when you get home:
- preheat oven to 450
- slice sweet potatoes into 1/4″ rounds (don’t pull out the measuring tape, just get it done, speed over technique!)
- toss sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon melted butter, bacon fat, or coconut oil
- bake in oven for 25 minutes, turning once
- while potatoes are cooking, prepare salad
- heat olive oil in small pan on LOW heat
- add dice shallots and a dash of balsamic vinegar and simmer for 5 minutes
- toss olive oil mixture with salad
- remove sweet potatoes from oven and serve meat, potatoes, and salad
- put second round of sweet potatoes in oven while sitting at dinner making lots of leftovers to go with rump roast for the week

Done and done.

Trevor and Maura Tie the Knot 

Muscle clean 1-1-1-1-1 reps
Power clean 3-3-3-3-3 reps
Clean 5-5-5-5-5 reps

Maura Dudley and Trevor Gibson.  July 19, 2014.

Maura Dudley and Trevor Gibson. July 19, 2014.   Photo Credit: Brittany Dudley

Trevor and Maura Tie the Knot

A big congratulations to Trevor and Maura who were married this weekend at the Whittemore-Robbins House outside Boston, Massachusetts.

Big hugs from all of us!

At the Park! 

Meet at the Southwest corner of North Boulder Park.

At the Park:
5 rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
Rest 2 minutes

Meet at the southwest corner of North Boulder Park.

Meet at the southwest corner of North Boulder Park.

At the Park!

Park Workout Weekend – July! 

Meet at the Southwest corner of North Boulder Park.

Tabata Sprints

rest 3 minutes, then:
3 rounds for time:
21 KB swings
15 burpees
9 goblet squats

Meet at the Southwest corner of North Boulder Park.

Meet at the Southwest corner of North Boulder Park.

Park Workout Weekend – July!

 

The Science of Sleep 

400m run
21 thrusters (95/65)
21 toes-to-bar
400m run
15 thrusters
15 toes-to-bar
400m run
9 thrusters
9 toes-to-bar

The look of determination

The look of determination

The Science of Sleep

Alex sent us this great article by James Clear on why and how we should develop better sleep habits. Very informative and well cited.

Tickets to the CrossFit Games 

Pausing Back Squat
5-5-5-5-5-

Cool Cruel Summer July
McGhee
As many rounds as possible in 30 minutes of:
5 Deadlift (275 lbs)
13 Push-ups
9 Box jumps (24″ box)

Want to go to the CrossFit Games?  We have two GOLD tickets available for purchase.

Want to go to the CrossFit Games? We have two GOLD tickets available for purchase.

Tickets to the CrossFit Games

We have come into an additional set of tickets to the CrossFit Games.  The tickets are the GOLD tickets and are $200/ticket.  If you would like to purchase the tickets (at face value) please contact Stefanie ASAP.

AND…

The Cool Cruel Summer July is TODAY!  Details here!  

The nitty gritty!

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

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

Food
The FATE BBQ truck will be at Roots with delicious dinner options available for purchase.

Drinks
Please bring an alcoholic beverage to share. Suerte Tequila and FATE Brewing Company  have teamed up and will donate tequila and beer drinks to sample for the event.

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!

Cool Cruel Summer Details! 

10 rounds for time of:
5 pull-ups
5 push-ups

5 rounds for time of:
10 GHD sit-ups
10 back extentions

2 rounds for time of:
25 wall-ball shots, 20-lb. ball
25 box jumps, 24-inch

Rest as needed between couplets. Post time for each couplet to comments.

Kim, making the coaches proud with a gorgeous sumo deadlift high pull!

Kim, making the coaches proud with a gorgeous sumo deadlift high pull!

Cool Cruel Summer Details!

The Cool Cruel Summer July Edition is tomorrow!

The nitty gritty!

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

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

Food
The FATE BBQ truck will be at Roots with delicious dinner options available for purchase.

Drinks
Please bring an alcoholic beverage to share.  Suerte Tequila will have tasty cocktails to sample and the FATE truck will have beer options to try.

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.

Food Challenge Recap: Alejandro 

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

DSC_0080

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.