Coaches Corner: Our Scars, Our Journey by Melanie LeBlanc

We all have them. Some are small, some are larger, some have purple hues, some are permanent indentations; but no matter what shape, size, or color, we all brag on our CrossFit scars.  Our scars bring back memories: some good, some funny, some bring fears. But whatever the scar, they are the memories of our wounds – the product of our fitness journeys.

Box Jumps

For some, a box jump is easy-peasy; while for others jumping onto anything higher than 2 inches is a complete mind F*! Box jumps however, are a good way to measure: explosive power, stability in the landing, flexibility within the landing, body awareness during movement in space, and the biggest one: confidence.  Because once you’ve bit the dust on a box jump it gets to you – it gets in your head. Taking your shin and having the box edge peel away the meat of your shin, or both, leaving only the white traumatized flesh to regain blood flow as your body starts coming back from its state of shock… Yes, I get it – been there. Box jumps can be the most feared activity within our sport, leaving us scared both physically and mentally.

Sit-ups

As non-threatening as sit-ups are; if I say, “Ok, class, today we’re doing Annie!”, I know for a fact, your thoughts will be on how painful your shower will end up being later that day.  Ass raspberries, as some of us call them, are inte  nse and take more than a few days to heal.  Reminding us every time we sit down of “all that fitness” we gained while rubbing a sore onto our ass.  Ok, so there’s not much to say, because we all know that an ass raspberry is just the result of fiction between our tailbone (area) and the floor.  There are a ton of little tricks such as: exact placement of an AB Mat, a special “sit-up” AB Mat, folded yoga mats, taping “that area”, and some hard-core people I know swear by using Vaseline or a thick layer of chap stick to prevent ass rash. But no matter what you do, just know that you’re just “band aiding” a larger issue.  You’re giving yourself a crutch for relaxed abdominals and a curved spine.

Ok, so let’s talk here; a box jump I tells me a lot more about you than you may think. I can literary see everything: your approach – I see your confidence, or lack of; your stance/setup – how powerful your potential jump can be; your launch – your mechanics in motion; your landing – your flexibility as well as your stability. And surprisingly, your entire movement within a box jump translates into, and from, all your other movements.  The sit-up, being a single modality movement normally completed in a higher rep scheme, will tell me where you start falling apart. Where you start “gasing” out and loosing posture.

All this to say, as I watch you move, I learn about YOU.  I see your strengths and your weaknesses. Now hear me out, by seeing your weaknesses, I KNOW you are capable of MORE! Because it’s my job to take those weaknesses and turn them into strengths, and for me to do that I need to: see, assess, tweak, see, assess, and tweak again. And it’s during those “tweaking” times that we push from where we were, and focus on being better – pushing that improvement wall a little farther ahead.  Our journey is a story, a story about us.  About how we got from where we started. Our wounds and scars are just the visual reminders of our journeys: about where we are, where we were, and hopefully they are reminders of where we are going.

 

 

 

 

August Athlete of the Month: Johann Mohorko

  1. Where are you from? San Juan, PR
  2. What is your profession? USPS city letter carrier
  3. How long have you been a member at CrossFit 727 and what were you doing prior? 3 years with CrossFit 727, before that YMCA and other regular gyms
  4. What motivated you to start? When I saw a bunch of athletes running around the block carrying medicine balls
  5. Complete the sentence: I knew I was a CrossFitter when…I almost passed out from my first wod and then I was excited to go back the next morning
  6. Favorite WOD (if any)? DT
  7. Favorite Olympic lift (if any)? Deadlifts and all squats
  8. Least favorite movements and why? Front lunges and burpees because I suck at it. HAHA!
  9. What has been your biggest accomplishments? Running a whole mile without having to stop to walk
  10. Goal(s) for the next few months? Lose some weight and improve my performance in metcons
  11. What helps you get through tough WODs? The support of the coaches and other members
  12. Any advice for newbies? Have fun and enjoy it. This is tough, but if I can do, it YOU can do this
  13. What are your hobbies outside of CrossFit? Watch sports, drink beer and play dominoes with my friends

Coaches Corner: Tips for Dialing in Your Nutrition by coach George Daicoff

Nutrition is important. Everyone probably knows it, however it seems to be one of the lesser discussed and understood aspects of fitness. We tend to focus more on learning/mastering skills, setting new PRs and surviving tough conditioning sessions. Those things are important as well, however nutrition is the base on which the fitness pyramid is built. In fact, in CrossFit’s definition of “World Class Fitness in 100 Words”, nutrition is the first of 4 bullet points. From the CrossFit Journal article “What is Fitness?”: “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake levels that will support exercise but not body fat”.

From the CrossFit Journal – “What is Fitness?”

Dialing in your diet is tough. It requires a lifestyle change as it is not a one-time per day event like working out. You have to be mindful of how you are fueling your body throughout the day. Everyone is also different – some people will respond to minimal changes and others may require a stricter approach. Also, some athletes’ digestive systems/bodies may not agree with certain kinds of foods. Let’s take a look at three broad levels of how we can improve our diets.

Cleaning up your current diet

Here we are not going to focus too much on quantity of food consumed or macronutrient balancing. The big idea here is to focus on quality and make better choices when grocery shopping. One of the best strategies when shopping for food at the grocery store is to avoid shopping in the aisles and focusing on the perimeter of the store. Typically, most of the highly processed, preservative added, artificial ingredient laden foods can be found in the aisles. These foods can be spotted by looking for the ingredients list. If there are ingredients listed that you cannot pronounce or need Google to find out what they are, you probably do not want to fuel yourself with these foods. Foods that we want to focus on are lean meats, fresh or frozen vegetables, low glycemic index carbohydrates (oatmeal, sweet potatoes, etc.) and healthy fats (avocados, nuts, and their oils).

Try a designed diet focused on food quality first rather than quantity

The two diets that we are going to touch on here are the Paleo Diet and Whole30. Both are diets that focus on the kinds of foods that you can and cannot eat and are very similar. On the basic level, the Paleo Diet is to eat in a manner that mimics our hunter/gatherer cave dwelling ancestors. Mostly lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats – from nuts, seeds, avocados, oils and meats – will be on the menu. The idea is to abandon the modern diet – eliminate dairy, grains, and legumes. If it was available to cavemen, then it is probably okay on this diet. Similarly, the Whole30 diet focusses on ditching the processed foods, dairy, grains, sugar, artificial sweeteners and alcohol. The Whole30 diet is designed to reset your metabolism, improve hormonal balance and reduce inflammation by eliminating foods that have been linked to disrupting these things. You would follow the diet for 30 days then could slowly re-introduce items that are not allowed by the diet to see how they affect you.

Track Quantity along with Quality

Here we will take a look at a couple of options that will take into account the quantity and macronutrient balance along with the quality of foods consumed. In second part of CrossFit’s definition of nutrition – “Keep intake levels that will support exercise but not body fat” – we notice that it is also a good idea to control the amount of food consumed. CrossFit recommends the Zone Diet. In a very short, birds eye definition of the diet, you will eat about 5 times a day with each meal/snack being balanced between protein, carbohydrates and fats. Quantities of food are broken down into “blocks” depending on their nutritional density. For example, 1oz chicken breast = 1 protein block. Depending on your body type/size, you will be allocated a certain number of blocks per day. If you are allowed a 4 block meal, you will eat 4 blocks of protein, 4 blocks of carbs and 4 blocks of fats. Another option is to look into a full diet template such as RPStrength. Templates are tailored to your goals (weight loss or weight gain for muscle building) and based on your starting weight. They break down each meal by the amount of macronutrients needed for each meal. Balance of protein, carbs and fats fluctuates meal to meal based on the timing of your workout – morning, noon, afternoon, evening. This option is good if you like a structured diet where you will know what and when to eat based on when you exercise and level of exercise.

Tips

  • Start small – drink less soda and replace with water, skip the artificial creamer and sweetener for your coffee – small changes over time do make a difference
  • Find a friend to do a 30 day diet challenge– you will be able to keep each other motivated and accountable
  • Trial and Error – each person is different with different situations (kids, working odd hours, etc.) – find what works for you
  • If you tend to eat out frequently or your culinary skills are not up to par, consider healthier pre-made meals such as Cornerstone Nutrition which can be ordered online and will soon be delivered to the gym!
  • Consider batch cooking meals and portioning out for the week – it is a lot easier to forgo takeout food when you know you have a meal in the refrigerator ready to go

Links

 

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