Category Archives for "Lifestyle"

Scale to Gain: Achieve More By Doing The Right Stuff

The key areas of scaling I am going to touch on include:
1. Weight
2. Movements
*Other important considerations: How well rested and nourished you are. Hitting it balls to the wall on day 5 is not intelligent training. At this point, scaling down would produce far better results. Taking the day off is probably the best choice.

Many of us are at different levels of fitness. We are all unique individuals with our own weaknesses and goals. Knowing that, does it make sense for everyone to follow one program? Not unless we tailor it to match our needs.

The crossfit model of strength and conditioning produces profound results across a broad spectrum of fitness but people fail to understand the importance of scaling and/or how to scale. So, many people do not get to experience these results.
Why do we us Rx and how do we come up with it

The Rx on the board does have utility when interpreted correctly. We prescribe the weights for a few reasons.
Most importantly, it gives us a reference point for what to use in our workouts. The Rx is a high standard of fitness and can make for a great goal to shoot for. We prescribe it based on what the fittest people can do efficiently in each category. For example, lets Rx an 8 minute AMRAP
8 Minute AMRAP
 8 Snatches
 8 Pullups
 8 toes to bar
RX is 115/75
The intent of the workout is to move efficiently with minimal rest between exercises. The movements are meant to go unbroken. We picked 115/75 pounds for the snatch because it is a weight that people who are efficient at that movement can do consistently with good form and not have to break up the reps. It is also a challenging weight for them to do in a met con workout.
We can scale it to our level by picking a weight that will challenge us but not force us to put the bar down during the set. Think not only about the weight but the other movements as well and how they can impact the snatch. Moving weight is one thing but moving weight with a heart rate 170 is entirely different.
I am not particularly good at the snatch. I can snatch well over 115 but I know better than to attack this WOD with 115 pounds.
The other use of the Rx is to standardize the workout so people may compete fairly. If Sally and Barbara do the same workout with the same standards, they can compare times/reps.
The prescribed scale is to provide a reference point for people who are not quite at the Rx level. Let’s use the same 8 minute AMRAP
8 Snatch 95/65
8 ring rows
8 knees to chest
Here we have modified each movement of the workout to give further reference for what to use. Pick the movements and weight that will give you the greatest challenge while still being able to do the workout as intended – unbroken. My workout would look like this
8 snatch 75/45
8 pullups
8 toes to bar
Notice I mixed Rx and Scale to match my needs. I’m not sure I would be efficient at 95 on the snatch, so I scaled it further. Do not read the board like Ron Burgundy reads the teleprompter! It does not have to be exactly as written. *if you don’t get that reference, watch Anchorman right now!
The competition prescribed scale is for the competitors. This scale is ridiculous! These are weights and movements for Rx competitors. This is a level beyond fitness. The scale is intended to represent the prescription they may see in competition or a little bit beyond for training purposes. Competition scale for our 8 minute AMRAP may look like this
8 snatch 135/85
8 chest to bar
8 toes to ring
Here we increased the snatch and advanced the pullup to chest to bar. In order to use this prescription you must be able to move fluidly throughout the duration. Competitors are not only strong enough to move heavy weight and perform high level gymnastics but they have incredible conditioning. If you are more than capable to do the prescription but bog down on the 2nd round, then you probably should have scaled because you missed the intent of the workout.
Scaling movements
This is just as important as adjusting load. Crossfit teaches us the best exercises in fitness from the very basic to the highly complex. There is an order of modifications and progressions we have to follow for optimum performance. An example: We have to learn the deadlift then the deadlift high pull and front rack before we learn the power clean. Learning the snatch cannot take place before learning the overhead squat and power clean.
If snatch is prescribed before you are decent at the power clean then you can either perform the snatch with the pvc (no heavier than the bar) or change the movement to power clean, so you can get better at that prerequisite.
The mistake people make is misinterpreting the prescriptions either by pride, competitive spirit or they just do not know how. More is most often not better; more is just…more. Just because Jethro did the competition scale does not mean you should. It is a detriment to your fitness if the higher demands cause you to move like crap and red-line your heart rate.
Movements executed at the highest standards rank far and above moving fast or heavy. Only when we are proficient with a movement do we advance the load/speed. Think of building a house with a faulty foundation. It is bound to collapse. That is what happens when people advance movements and load before their bodies are conditioned to handle it.
Read the workout as it is intended and scale to the most challenging options you can handle with exceptional movement. And always ask the coach if you have any questions!

 

By Clay Henderson, CSCS

Owner of Performance Edge Crossfit

Performance Edge Crossfit

I thought CrossFit was stupid… Then I tried it.

I thought CrossFit was stupid. Then I tried it…
My first impression of CF was it was ridiculous. It seemed random and too intense. I watched videos of epic CrossFit fails and from there formed a negative opinion. I saw inexperienced people doing highly technical movements with too much weight moving too fast with terrible form. Most of my colleagues shared my sentiment. The problem with this opinion (like most) was that it was formed without any firsthand experience with CrossFit. I just thought it was stupid and of course I knew best because I was the personal trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist. I knew it all.
I did not try CF until 2013 when a friend challenged me to do the ‘300 workout’ with me. After completing the workout, I was floored. I loved it. It introduced crazy new fitness potential that I did not know existed. I was both humbled and inspired by the experience as I laid on the floor gasping for air. The workout was intense but it was also highly engaging and almost fun. I did not know it was a CF workout until my friend told me afterwards. I don’t know about you but I hate talking shit then having to eat it.
Reluctant to admit my opinions of CF may have been wrong, I began researching the program and doing the workouts on my own. In the next month and a half my total fitness level soared to new heights. I PRd on all major lifts among many other moves like hitting 30 strict pullups unbroken and 75 chest to floor pushups. For the first time ever I recorded a 5k time under 22 minutes, which for me is really good. My energy was at an all-time high. Best of all, I was enjoying my new routines. I looked forward to every day’s workout.
The first few months of my CF journey were done on my own and the results were phenomenal. Then I joined a CF gym and my progress accelerated even more. I was immediately humbled by the level of coaching I received and their standards on quality of movement. It was pointed out that my form on major movements needed a lot work and I received excellent training that lead to vast improvement in a short amount of time. I learned that in a good crossfit gym (there are bad ones, just like anything else), mobility is just as, if not more, important than strength and power. Their motto was ‘move well then move fast’. I have adopted it and relayed that message to every client since. Learning the basics and learning them very-very well creates a foundation that you can build on for forever. Going balls out with a mediocre foundation is recipe for collapse. The point is, get proper coaching and take pride in doing thing right. It will save you a lot of pain and setbacks.
The best part of the experience from the gym was being a part of an awesome community. No where will you find a place that is more supportive of your goals than you will in a good crossfit gym. People go to regular gyms with their ear buds on and walk around with serious faces, interacting with no one but the machines they use. In a crossfit gym, members are constantly interacting. They actually smile and genuinely care about your health and wellbeing. It is hardwired in to the culture of crossfit to cheer on the people around you. It is a truly inspiring atmosphere. It is the combination of excellent programming, coaching and most importantly the supportive environment that crossfit is the most successful fitness program in terms of getting insane results across the board.
I have made a career of using my knowledge and passion for fitness to help others improve the quality of their lives and achieve their fitness goals. Being a part of my client’s success is an empowering feeling. It is the kind of satisfaction that makes my job the best job in the world. My experience with crossfit made me realize that I could help 10x as many people as I was before. By being involved and eventually owning a crossfit gym, I could help an entire member base and anyone in the surrounding community to try us out.
I encourage everyone to try crossfit. Most people feel that it is too intense for them and say things like “I don’t care about being super strong or having a six pack, I just want to be healthier”… to that I say “ok, what’s your point?” If your goal is to be healthier, how do you measure it? And if you achieve this ‘healthier’ goal and become stronger and leaner in the process, are you going to pissed about it? I don’t think so. What if you do something you never thought possible? Would you be upset over that? My guess is no. Some try to belittle the community of crossfit, calling a cult or fitness for elitist. These are titles from outsiders who are thinking without any firsthand knowledge of what we are all about. Hey, no judgement from me, I was guilty of the same thing! The truth is, crossfit can be for anyone. It is a scalable program that allows for all skill levels to work side by side. The level of growth I have seen people achieve from crossfit is insane! I am not just talking about changes with their body. I am talking about their confidence and how they feel about themselves. In my experience, Crossfit is the best thing to happen to fitness industry, for both fitness professionals and customers wanting to improve their health.
Most people are scared to try things outside of their comfort zone even when those are the only things that will get them what they want. To avoid facing fear, they rationalize giving up by denying the importance of the goals they want but are too afraid to go after.
Crossfit is scary to the outsider. It looks too intense. It is different than anything they have seen before. The reality is it is the exact opposite. It is a scalable program for all levels. It is a supportive community that fosters personal growth. I have yet to find anything like it and encourage everyone to give it a shot. There really isn’t anything to lose.

Almost Paleo cupcake recipes

Almost Paleo…gingerbread cupcakes with marscarpone frosting – by Isabella Fuentes

cupcak6

Almost a year ago, my partner got serious about his rock climbing and mountaineering training and adopted a “paleo” diet. As a lover of bread, French fries, and all things dessert, I was not immediately on board. However, I was mindful in the kitchen when preparing meals we could both enjoy. We began to evaluate more closely the source and quality of our ingredients, but being a full time graduate student means I have limited time and money to spend in the kitchen. As a result, we often eat simply (seasoned ground beef, sautéed/roasted/fresh vegetables, and eggs), but the scientist in me is always down to experiment. I want to share with you paleo-friendly recipes that my trusty crew of taste-testers have deemed winners. Try something new and enjoy!

—i.m.f.

 

One of my favorite people had a birthday this week and I made cupcakes to celebrate. When I heard she had a late-night barf fest after eating her weight in cake on her actual birthday (no judgment; we were all 6 years old once), I wanted to make her a party treat that was free of grains, refined sugars, and industrial seed oils; something her dad, a good friend of ours, would eat. I decided on my paleo-fied Laura Ingalls Wilder gingerbread cupcakes with sugar-free marscarpone frosting. Mouthwatering descriptions of warm country cooking were some of my favorite passages from Wilder’s Little House series; recipes for which were published in The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook. I’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe and paired it with a marscarpone frosting, rather than the boiled chocolate icing she suggests.

These cupcakes topped with a simple chocolate buttercream (butter, powered sugar, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder…not paleo) were well received around the holidays, especially when paired with an ice-cold glass of whole milk or a white Russian. However, my trusty taste-testers thought a cream cheese frosting would pair better with the gingerbread than chocolate, so this time around I experimented with a marscarpone frosting. Marscarpone is a soft Italian cheese used in tiramisu and I think it adds a little sophistication to this country gingerbread. I’ve also included a simple paleo-friendly buttercream frosting. The tasters liked both frostings, but the marcarparone was the crowd favorite. For a spicy twist, add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the dry ingredients and top with a dark chocolate ganache.

This recipe makes one 8” square or 9” round cake or 13 cupcakes (yes, 13).

I used organic ingredients when I could, but every ingredient was simple with no added preservatives or artificial flavors.

Ingredients:

Gingerbread

  • 3 cups paleo-friendly flour (recipe below)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil, softened at room temperature (I used Spectrum brand)
  • 1 cup blackstrap molasses (must be blackstrap! It has a strong flavor and it’s lower carb, rich in minerals, and easy on digestion; I used Brer Rabbit brand)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (I used organic, Hy-Vee brand)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 eggs, beaten (organic, pasture raised; purchased from a farmer friend)

Sugar-free marscarpone frosting

  • 16 oz marcarpone cheese (or cream cheese; I used BelGioioso brand marscarpone; gluten free, hormone free)
  • 1 tsp non-bitter, liquid stevia (I used NuNaturals brand Clear NuStevia)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (I used Simply Organic brand)
  • ½ cup whole milk or cream (I used Shatto brand)

-OR-

Paleo-friendly buttercream frosting

  • 1 cup coconut butter (or coconut oil, but frosting will be quite soft) (or grass-fed, unsalted butter; I used Kerrygold brand)
  • 2 Tbs raw honey (purchased from a bee keeper friend)
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour/starch (I used Trang brand from my local Asian market)

How-to:

  1. Preheat oven to 3500F and prepare your baking vessel; grease lightly with coconut oil or line with paper cups.
  2. Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, spices, and salt.
    1. The paleo flour can be very dense. Sifting the dry ingredients yields a fluffier texture.
  3. Combine the coconut oil and molasses before creaming in the coconut sugar.
    1. The coconut sugar will not dissolve like brown sugar would. Just be sure there aren’t any dry pockets of sugar.
  4. 1/3 at a time, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
    1. Batter will be really stiff. Fold enough times that the wet and dry ingredients look evenly distributed.
  5. Dissolve baking soda in hot water and add to the batter. Fold the batter repeatedly until the water is absorbed.
  6. Fold beaten eggs into the batter until just combined.
    1. Don’t over mix, or you’ll end up with a dense cake.
  7. Pour your batter into your prepared baking vessel.
    1. I chose a muffin tin. I filled each well with 2-3 tablespoons of batter; basically to the top.

    cupcake2

  8. Bake the gingerbread for 40-45 minutes for cakes or 20-25 minutes for cupcakes.
      1. A toothpick should come out clea
  9. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for at least 5-10 minutes before removing. For cakes, cool completely.
    1. These cakes will be really soft until they have cooled completely.
  10. While the gingerbread is baking and cooling, whip your frosting ingredients together. Store in the fridge until you need it.
    Transfer frosting to a piping bag or a disposable storage bag with the tip cut off (my go-to method).!
  11. When the gingerbread has cooled completely, decorate as you wish!

cupcake7

cupcake8

Makes 20 ¼ cup servings. Nutrition per serving: 150 kcal, 8 g total fat (2.4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 30 mg sodium, 72 mg potassium, 16 g total carbs (6.6 g dietary fiber, 1.2 g sugars), and 4.8 g protein.
I used organic, Hy-Vee brand almond and coconut flowers and Bob’s Red Mill brand arrowroot starch.

cupcake 9

Nutrition per serving: 325.8 kcal, 16.8 g total fat (9.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 258.6 mg sodium, 630 mg potassium, 38.2 g total carbs (6.1 g dietary fiber, 19.7 g sugars), and 6.6 g protein.

cup cake 10

Nutrition per serving: 178.5 kcal, 17.8 g total fat (10.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 15.4 mg sodium, 9.2 mg potassium, 0.6 g total carbs (0 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugars), and 1.2 g protein.

cupcake11

Nutritional per serving using Kerrygold, unsalted butter: 143.1 kcal, 14.8 g total fat (9.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg sodium, 0 mg potassium, 5.4 g total carbs (0 g dietary fiber, 2.5 g sugars), and 0 g protein.

 

Isabella Fuentes

isamarfue@gmail.com

Kids Fitness Class

We have an excellent kids fitness program, taught by fitness enthusiasts who are teachers by trade with years of experience with kids.  The kids that participate love the program.  It is important to get kids involved in physical activity and to build healthy active bodies.  Establishing exercise as a valued part of life at an early age does wonders for self-esteem and health.

kids fitness class

Too many kids are sedentary these days – plugged in to electronics for entertainment.  The obesity rate is higher in children now more than every.  Type II diabetes is now showing up in children as young 10 years old because they are moving far less.  Inactivity reeks havoc on the body and causes many unnecessary health problems.  The longer children go without physical activity in their lives, the harder it becomes to introduce.  It.

This program captures their attention and keeps the kids engaged with fun games mixed with great exercises taught the correct way.  The first class is Free.

Classes are Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7 P.M.  The cost is $30 per Month for 1 class a week – $60 per Month for both classes – or $75 for a 10 class punch card.

 

 

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