Monday, August 31, 2009

Functional Movements & Fulfilling MY Role

You ask, how do "functional movements" and my role as mom and wife relate? I ENJOY Olympic weight-lifting. These lifts aren't easy. They demand coordination (which I have to reach deeply within myself to find). When done correctly, they are rather graceful, but nonetheless, no matter how graceful, you still get strange looks from people at most gyms. (That's why I prefer doing this A-L-O-N-E.) The movements required in the lifts are highly functional, and have enhanced my competency at many physical tasks required of me day-to-day.
Functional movements are universal motor recruitment patterns; they are performed in a wave of contraction from core to extremity; and they are compound movements—i.e., they are multi-joint. They are natural, effective, and efficient locomotors of body and external objects. But no aspect of functional movements is more important than their capacity to move large loads over long distances, and to do so quickly.(http://journal.crossfit.com/2007/04/understanding-crossfit-by-greg.tpl)
I've realized this from time to time. One particular instance, as I was CLEANING and JERKING some pretty heavy (at least 80 pounds) logs, this concept occurred to me. The job wasn't easy, but it sure did go much quicker than expected. And also much faster than it would have about three years ago, with a new-found strength and knowledge of functional movements.
We train our athletes in gymnastics from rudimentary to advanced movements garnering great capacity at controlling the body both dynamically and statically while maximizing strength to weight ratio and flexibility. We also place a heavy emphasis on Olympic Weightlifting having seen this sport’s unique ability to develop an athletes’ explosive power, control of external objects, and mastery of critical motor recruitment patterns. And finally we encourage and assist our athletes to explore a variety of sports as a vehicle to express and apply their fitness. (http://journal.crossfit.com/2002/04/foundations.tpl)
The power that I have developed over the three-plus years of "doing what I do at the gym" is noticeable. And that's exciting to me. Not because I'm STRONGER than anyone else, because I know this not to be the case, and frankly I don't want it to be. My aim in learning these lifts and movements is to become more functional, more capable in everyday life. And I feel that is the case. In tasks from picking up a heavy bag of cat food or lawn mulch, to removing water from a paddle boat filled with rainwater, I have had the opportunity to employ these movements. They've empowered me to accomplish some things that, three years ago, I would have needed help to do. Does this excite me? Yes. But only because I see that my "working-out" has not been in vain (no pun intended).

Sunday, August 30, 2009

WOMEN & WEIGHT TRAINING

FUNCTIONAL
(pictured: Three Crossfit Ladies -- Annie, Jolie, Eva T.)
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/strength-training-women/

My friend, Laura (http://home-work-out.blogspot.com/), posted this article link on her website. This article was a follow-up to a post she had made prior, on the importance of strength training for women:
Why Weight? (from http://home-work-out.blogspot.com)
If you are a woman, you probably want long, lean, sculpted and toned muscles, right? I know that is what I wanted. I had a huge fear of getting, well...huge. I have learned that I can't get huge. Almost no woman can without some chemical assistance. We just don't have the testosterone necessary to do this.

Mark Rippetoe, well known in power lifting circles, has this to say:

With that in mind, and counter to the conventional industry wisdom, here are some more unfortunate truths:
-Your muscles cannot get "longer" without some rather radical orthopedic surgery.
-Muscles don’t get leaner—you do.
-There is no such thing as "firming and toning." There is only stronger and weaker.
-The vast majority of women cannot get large, masculine muscles from barbell training. If it were that easy, I would have them.
-Women who do look like men have taken some rather drastic steps in that direction that have little to do with their exercise program.
-Women who claim to be afraid to train hard because they "always bulk up too much" are often already pretty bulky, or "skinny fat" (thin but weak and deconditioned) and have found another excuse to continue life sitting on their butts.
-Only people willing to work to the point of discomfort on a regular basis using effective means to produce that discomfort will actually look like they have been other-than-comfortable most of the time.
-You can thank the muscle magazines for these persistent misconceptions, along with the natural tendency of all normal humans to seek reasons to avoid hard physical exertion.


I think my favorite line is about working to the point of discomfort on a regular basis. I mean really, what is the point of working out or exercising if you are not going to work hard enough to be uncomfortable?

Why would a woman want to BUILD (or grow) muscle? If your muscles don't grow, they won't look any better or different than they currently do. So, why not use really low weights and lots of reps? Well, by doing that you would be building the endurance of your muscles, but your muscles wouldn't grow. Your muscles won't grow unless you use challenging weights.

Other than improving physical appearance, is there any reason for weight training? Yes.

From the book, "The New Rules of Lifting for Women", by Lou Schuler:

Consider this: In a study of elderly women who were disabled to varying degrees, researchers for the U.S. National Institute on Aging found that those with the least strength were twice as likely to die from heart disease as the strongest. The researchers on that study, published in 2003, used hand-grip strength as a measure of total strength.
A University of Pittsburgh study published in 2006 looked at an additional measure of strength-testing the quadriceps (the muscles on the front of your thighs)-and found a similar effect. The weakest women had 1.65 times the risk of death from any cause, compared to the strongest.


Before beginning Crossfit and adopting Crossfit-style workouts, I, too, was of the mentality that serious weight-training would only serve to bulk my already bulky, athletic body-type. After watching demonstration videos featuring some of the Crossfit lady-legends (Annie, Nicole, Eva...just to name a few), I realized that THEY were strong...yet, they had maintained a femininity that I disbelieved possible with that level of strength. These women can lift HEAVY weight, using highly functional movements.

I decided to give it a go, vowing to end my weight-training if I began to look bulky (i.e. "like a man"). It's been three years. The muscle gained has served to shed fat. I still strive to perfect the lifts, set new goals, enjoy the variety involved in Crossfit-style workouts...and I do it all, while maintaining a level of femininity that I vowed not to lose. I have met many women, Laura included, new to Crossfit, witnessing them transform into strong, yet feminine women after a few months of weight-training.

I have to say, I don't buy the “But I don’t want to get big and bulky!” excuse either; I've disproved that assumption for myself...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Front Squat5x5/SDHP,K2E,Burpees

buy-in:

30 mountain climbers

30 steps overhead PVC walking lunge

strength:

front squat

5-5-5-5-5

WOD:

3RFT

12 sumo deadlift high pull

7 knees-to-elbows

5 burpees

cash-out:

side plank (both sides) to failure

For the side planks keep a running clock. As soon as you fail on one side immediately start on the other side, post it as a single time.

(workout courtesy altuisathletics.com)

The premise behind the buy-in/strength/WOD/cash-out sequence...

"The buy-in, is a structured warm-up mostly. I try to hit a couple of exercises with dynamic stretches and prepare the joints vs an untargeted broad warm-up. There is nothing wrong with the broad warm-up but with the thought of a "buy-in" it gives them something to get through without being timed and keeps the class moving. I also encourage work on an exercise they might be having problems with outside the buy-in, say pull-ups. Also, it adds variety. The cash-out is skill-development under post-fatigue stress and is very goal-driven. Sometimes the goal is to simply get them (more) comfortable hanging upside down, working on their foot dexterity or core strength with legs that betray them for all 60s of a front plank. The cash-out will almost always be gymnastic in nature as development in that area is the long term broad goal..." RK, altiusathletics.com

In utilizing the "buy-in/strength/WOD/cash-out" sequence in planning MY workouts, I have noticed an improvement in the area of strength, and an efficient progression in skills I'm working on (such as handstands, muscle-ups, planks, etc.). I LIKE the sequence; it provides variety, while making my entire workout more goal-oriented.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Healthiest Food on Earth


The Healthiest Foods On Earth

The most important consideration in constructing a healthy diet: Eat whole foods that have had minimal processing.

By Jonny Bowden, Forbes.com
http://health.msn.com/nutrition/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100241585&GT1=31036#

(cut and paste link into your browser)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

TRAINING FOR TULSA...

I recently happened upon this article. In the instance it may prove useful...

How to calculate running times for various distances

The following method is a rough guide to calculating how much time it will take to run a particular distance. This popular method, known as the 4 second rule, gives an idea of the sort of times a runner might achieve in a race. It is useful for anyone whose been following any plan based on time rather than distance, although the calculation requires at least one measurement of time taken to run a specific distance. To measure a distance on your regular running route use an online route planner (such as www.runningmap.com).

The 4 second rule works on the basis that as distance increases the runner will have to run more slowly. Each 400m covered adds 4 second to the time so, as an example, if it takes 3 minutes to run 400m the time used for calculations would be 3 minutes 4 seconds.

It can be difficult to find a measured 400m unless you visit the local running track and it may be easier to time a run over a measured mile. Since a mile is around 1600m just divide the time taken to run 1 mile by 4. This gives an approximate base 400m time to use in the calculation.

Running 1 mile in 10 minutes is roughly equivalent to running 400m in 2 minutes 30 seconds. (since 1 mile is approx 1600m and 1600m divided by 4 = 400m). So the base figure for 400m is 2 minutes 30 seconds. To use this to calculate longer distances add 4 seconds to give 2 minutes 34 seconds. Having applied the 4 second rule we can assume every 400m takes 2 minutes 34 seconds to run.

With this example the 5km target would be calculated in the following way: 400m x 12.5 = 5000m (5km). Our 400m time (including the 4 second rule) is 154 seconds or 2 minutes 34 seconds . So 154 seconds x 12.5 = 1925 seconds or 32 minutes 5 seconds. The runner covering one mile in 10 minutes could target 32 minutes 5 seconds for a 5km race.


(from http://www.beginrunning.com/)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Snacking IN THE ZONE...


some ideas for ONE-BLOCK snacks:

Cheese Melt

1/2 snack wrap
1 oz. mozzarella cheese
diced onions, garlic, spinach leaves
roll.heat in the oven.add a healthy fat choice.enjoy.

Low Fat Cottage Cheese & Tomato

1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon guacamole


Cottage Cheese & Fruit

1/4 cottage cheese
1/2 c. grapes
3 almonds, cashews, pecans, etc.

Egg & Tomato

1 boiled egg
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon guacamole

Low Fat Yogurt & Nuts

1/2 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon slivered almonds or 1 macadamia nut (or fat of choice)

Chocolate Milk

1/2 c. milk blended with cocoa and stevia (chocolate milk; you can make this ahead and put it in a shaker cup. shake when you get ready to consume) (this will be 1 P and 1 C)
fat choice

1 oz. cheese (your cheese stick)
1/2 piece bread (melt cheese and toast bread)
you could spread one block of avocado before melting cheese (awesome for hair and skin)

Wine & Cheese

4 oz. red or white wine
1 oz. low fat or "soft cheese"


Mini Pizza

1/2 snack wrap
top with:
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 oz. part-skim mozzarella



Zone Diet Food amount for 1 Zone Block

Zone Protein Block

Zone Carbohydrate Block

Zone Fat Block

2 1/2 oz part skim or lite ricotta cheese

1 oz part skim or lite mozzarella

1 oz low fat, part skim or soft cheese

1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese


1 oz slice turkey


1 oz slice ham

1oz tuna packed in water

8 cherries


3 apricots


1 kiwi or tangerine or peach or plum

1/2 apple or orange or pear or grapefruit or nectarine

1 cup strawberries or raspberries

3/4 cup blackberries

1/2 cup grapes or peaches or blueberries or crushed pineapples

3 green olives or black olives

3 almonds


2 pecans halves


1 macadamia nut

1 tablespoon guacamole


6 peanuts


Do YOU have any favorite combinations to add?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pep up With More POWER Smoothies!


additional smoothie ideas...

Strawberry Mango Limeade Smoothie

Two limes (or just juice)
One lemon (or just juice)
One mango (fresh or frozen)
10 frozen strawberries
3 big handfuls of red grapes
a few mint leaves
(if you use all fresh fruit, add ice)

Tart, sweet, refreshing, pretty . . . the best lime drink I've ever tasted!

The Kitchen Sink Smoothie

Ingredients
Apple
Mango
Orange
Pineapple
Grapes
Figs
Avocado
Parsley
Banana (frozen & fresh)
Strawberries (frozen)

Smoothie Tips:

Try adding avocado. Gives smoothies great smoooothness but doesn't overpower with flavor (like bananas). A wonderful and healthy fat option. And we all know, fats ARE important.

Greens I like to add: spinach, kale, parsley, mint . . .

Grapes make a great natural sweetener without changing the flavor much.


*These recipes come courtesy of very healthy friend. Enjoy!

Hang Power Snatch/Overhead Squat/Run

Skill Work: muscle-up attempts. double-unders. handstand holds.

Workout:

15 Hang Power Snatch 65/95

400M run

12 HPS /3 Overhead Squat

200M run

9 HPS/ 6 OHS

400M run

6 HPS /9 OHS

200M run

3 HPS /12 OHS

400M

15 OHS

*workout courtesy CFSCC

Hang Power Snatch Demo:

http://www.performancemenu.com/exercises/videos/hangPowerSnatch.mov


Thursday, August 20, 2009

ADD PEP TO YOUR SMOOTHIES!

Yum. Smoothies are good. We love smoothies. We consume many of our nutrients, daily, in the form of these blended treats. There are so many options with smoothies... After some fruitful discussion yesterday with a friend, I had this idea of giving my thoughts on smoothies and how WE do it. Feel free to leave your smoothie ideas, recipes, etc.

TIPS FOR SMOOTHIES:

Adding ground flax seed (at least 1 T) and/or cod-liver oil (this oil comes in several refreshing flavors that enhance the flavor of your smoothie) really maximizes the nutritional values of your smoothie.

FLAX

Besides being the best source of omega 3's, flax oil is a good source of omega 6, or linoleic acid (LA). Sunflower, safflower, and sesame oil are greater sources of omega 6 fatty acids but they don't contain any omega-3 fatty acids.

In addition to nutritious fats, flax seeds contain other nutrients which make eating the whole seed superior to consuming just the extracted oil:

• Flax seeds contain a high quality protein.

• Flax seeds are rich in soluble fiber. The combination of the oil and the fiber makes flaxseeds an ideal laxative.

• Flax seeds contain vitamins B-1, B-2, C, E, and carotene. These seeds also contain iron, zinc, and trace amounts of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin E and carotene, two nutrients which aid the metabolism of the oil.

• Flax seeds contain over a hundred times more of a phytonutrient, known as lignin, than any of its closest competitors, such as wheat bran, buckwheat, rye, millet, oats, and soybeans. Lignins have received a lot of attention lately because of possible anti-cancer properties, especially in relation to breast and colon cancer. Lignins seem to flush excess estrogen out of the body, thereby reducing the incidence of estrogen-linked cancers, such as breast cancer. Besides anti-tumor properties, lignins also seem to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
Flax seeds, because they contain some protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and lignins, are more nutritious than their oil. Yet, for practical purposes, most consumers prefer simply using the oil for its omega-3 fatty acids and not having to bother with grinding the seeds. But nutritionally speaking, it's worth the trouble to grind fresh flax seeds (say, in a coffee grinder) and sprinkle them as a seasoning on salads or cereals, or mix them into muffins. When buying seeds, be sure they are whole, not split; splitting exposes the inner seed to light and heat and decreases the nutritional value. Or, buy pre-ground flax seeds, available as flaxseed meal. One ounce of flaxseed meal (approximately 4 tbsp.) will yield about 6 grams of protein, and 8 grams of fiber. ( www.askdrsears.com)

COD-LIVER OIL

It has high levels of the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, and very high levels of vitamin A, and vitamin D. It is widely taken to ease the symptoms of arthritis. High quality cod liver oil is a pale-yellow, thin, oily liquid, having a peculiar, slightly fishy, but not rancid odor, and a bland, slightly fishy taste. Manufacturers sometimes add flavorings, such as citrus or mint essence, to cod liver oil to make it more palatable. It has been clinically proven to have a positive effect on heart, bone, and brain,as well as helping to nourish skin, hair, and nails.


A QUICK NOTE ON STEVIA:

The most important thing to remember is not to use too much, which can result in excessive sweetness and an aftertaste. Always start with the exact amount called for in a recipe, or even a little less, then taste before you add any more. Stevia is delicious in almost any recipe using fruit or dairy products, but does present a bit of a challenge when used for baking, since it lacks sugar's abilities to add texture, help soften batter, caramelize, enhance the browning process, and feed the fermentation of yeast. On the other hand, one of the excellent facets of stevia is that high temperatures do not affect its sweetening properties.

Cooking with stevia does require a learning curve, but since the advantages of reducing sugar in your diet (as well as eliminating your consumption of aspartame and other artificial sweeteners) are so important, it's well worth the effort.

Cinnamon


This is a good article on cinnamon:
Cinnamon: Help for Insulin Resistance and Weight Loss
Popular and Flavorful Spice is New Aid in the Battle Against Buddha Belly/Belly Fat

by Mary Shomon
(article from http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/cinnamon.htm)

We also put cinnamon (about 1/4 t.) in our smoothies and sometimes our warm drinks. We usually don't use more than 3/4 teaspoon per day. Cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity, helping your body use those good sugars most efficiently. Not to mention the fact that cinnamon just adds such a nice flavor to almost anything. (I like cinnamon.)

With all the information above stated, I'll tell you what my typical smoothie consists of:

2 ice cubes
a good whey protein
1/4-1/2 c. raw milk
1/2 c. cold water
stevia
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 T. olive oil or cod liver oil
frozen fruit (approx. 1/2 cup is ideal)
I buy an assortment of frozen berries: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries...we sometimes use frozen bananas, as they are cheap and easy to freeze.

I sometimes add barley grass or some sort of greens.

Another nice recipe:

Pina Colada Smoothie

1 can coconut milk (not lite!)
3 small bananas, sliced and frozen
1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 Tbsp. raw honey
1 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil
1 Tbsp. flaxseed oil
optional: unsweetened coconut flakes

Blend until smooth and creamy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Power Clean/Push-up/Squat

"The Chief”

3-6-9 reps of Power Clean, Push Up, and Squat.

Perform as many rounds as possible in 3 minutes, then rest one minute.

Do this 4 more rounds.

95#women/135#men (scale appropriately)

(workout courtesy CFSSC)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

TWO WORKOUTS: Sans Lifting

400m walking lunge, for time

Yes, lunge for about 1/4 mile. For me, this is approximately 400 lunges. With each step, I like to think about how my butt is working it's way back up where it should be and not where gravity and inactivity placed it for many years. Afterward, be sure to mentally prepare yourself for the soreness to come...because it will! (taken from http://home-work-out.blogspot.com/)

OR

3 rounds for time:


25 push ups
25 sit ups
50 jump ropes

*both workouts courtesy http://home-work-out.blogspot.com/

SNATCH/CLEAN&JERK/BACKSQUAT...

STRENGTH PORTION:
  • Snatch - work up to a heavy single
  • Clean & Jerk - work up to a heavy single
  • Back squat - work up to a heavy single
WORKOUT:
3 rounds for time:
15 kipping pull-ups
15 sit-ups

or

3 rounds for time:
15 Knees to elbows
15 Back extensions

courtesy PerformanceMenu.com*

*The Performance Menu workouts are intended for those desiring to significantly improve functional strength and power—and the Olympic lifts specifically—without compromising general fitness too greatly. Whereas most Crossfit workouts appeal to a more general approach to fitness, PM workouts focus on strength development. The resulting strength and power improvements create dramatic improvements in individuals’ overall CrossFit performances.

The Strength element is performed first, supplemented by a short workout, designed to be performed quickly at maximum effort.

OVERHEAD SQUAT COACHING



*Crossfit Santa Cruz Central
http://www.crossfitsantacruzcentral.com/?p=1861

Monday, August 17, 2009

Burpee/Pull-up/Box Jump

Workout:

7 rounds for time:

7 Burpees

7 Pull-ups

7 Box Jumps, 24# box

http://www.vimeo.com/1803468 (entire workout demonstration here)

workout courtesy CFOmaha

____________________________________

strength:

3-3-3-1-1 Overhead Squat

work on strong, proper form

Saturday, August 15, 2009

HEALTHY SUBSTITUTES

Beverages are a weakness of mine. They serve, many times, as snacks. The most ideal method of indulging, when it comes to beverages, is to make it as guiltless as possible. I don't like loading myself or the kids with sugar. I like to avoid insulin spikes where possible. :) It took a little creativity, but I have managed to come up with some healthy alternatives to some pretty sugary drinks. The boys don't know the difference, and I enjoy my homemade beverages all the more knowing they are not slowly killing me, one drink at a time. A willingness to use my culinary expertise (ha!) has led me to a few nutritionally superior beverages, such as:

1) ICED GREEN TEA LATTE (THINK STARBUCKS...AND SUMMER)
unsweetened matcha green tea powder, amount depending upon brand/type you buy
1 c. milk
stevia, to taste
LOADS of ice

blend (Magic Bullet is awesome.) and serve over ice.

There are many matchas out there, but out of what I've tried, here's the one I like best. It is designed for mixing: http://www.zenmatchatea.com/Matcha-Store/Mixing-Grade-Matcha-Tea-80g-Tin.aspx


2) Hot Cocoa/Chocolate Milk
1 T. cocoa powder
stevia, to taste
1 drop vanilla extract
1 c. milk

Blend well.

3) Vanilla "Steamer" (my children's favorite milk-treat)
1-2 drops vanilla extract
stevia, to taste
1 c. milk

Blend and serve warm.

4) Cranberry Lemonade (I make one gallon at a time.)
4-5 small or 3 large lemons
approx. 4 oz. 100% pure cranberry juice (I've also used pure pomegranate juice. Any 100% unsweetened juice could be used.)
stevia, to taste
water

Juice lemons. Combine lemon juice, cranberry juice, and stevia. Add water to fill gallon. Mix well and enjoy.

5) Iced latte/coffee
leftover coffee from morning pot
1 c. milk
LOADS of ice

(If you like it sweetened or flavored, add stevia or an extract such as vanilla.)

6) Tazo Passion Tea Lemonade

Brew Tazo Passion Tea to personal taste. (I usually make 1 gallon at a time.)
Juice 2-3 lemons
Add stevia to taste.

Serve over ice.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

PUSH JERK/SPRINTS

Strength: Thruster 45 reps, as few sets as possible (I will use 65#)

WORKOUT

7 rounds for time of:

Sprint 200 meters

7 Push Jerk (135/85)

Post time to comments.

WORKOUT courtesy CFOKC.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

BACK SQUAT, PULL-UPS, BOX JUMP

Workout:

Work up to a work set of 3 in the back squat, then remove 5%

Next:

5 rounds for time

Back Squat 3

C2B Pull up 4 (C2B=chest to bar)

Box Jump 5

(reference the exercise demos link in the left sidebar for demonstration videos)

DOUBLE-UNDERS & PULL-UPS


WORKOUT
3 rounds for time:

20 double unders
20 kipping pull-ups
(courtesy Performance Menu)

(reference the exercise demos link in the sidebar for demonstrations of exercises)

Substitution for double unders:
Do tuck jumps. Multiple single-unders in no way compensate for the exertion required for double-unders. Stand with your feet slightly inside the width of your shoulders. Bend your knees and lower your body down 8-12 inches. Explode into the air and bring your knees up to your chest in a tucked position. Upon landing, your feet should be in a strong, dorsi flexed or "toes up" position. Use your whole foot to generate power, not just your toes! Maintain good posture in your upper body. Keep your chest and head up. Don't let your shoulders lean out beyond your knees. This can stress your lower back. Explode off the ground as quickly as possible and repeat for the required number of repetitions.

Sustitution for kipping pull-ups:
Jumping pullups (use as much leg push as needed, lower slowly . . . this really keeps the cardio going.).
Pure negatives (climb to top position using chair, bench, etc, then lower slowly, with full control).
In each of these, your arms are going to be drawing your whole body . . . they will serve to progress you to "real" pullups faster than other substitutions such as ring rows or lat pull-downs.


STRENGTH WORK
  • Clean & jerk - 75% x 2 x 2; 80% x 1 x 2 (I will find my one-rep max and base the percentages on that weight.)
  • Muscle snatch - heavy single
(reference the exercise demos link in the sidebar for demonstrations of exercises)

Monday, August 10, 2009

SNATCH, PULL-UPS, SPRINTS

Snatch 10–8–6–4–2
C2B pull ups 2–4–6–8–10 (C2B=Chest to Bar)
2×100m –*–*–*– *–* (DO SPRINTS after every set of snatch and C2B pull ups)
(courtesy CFSCC)


Snatch Demo:
http://www.performancemenu.com/exercises/index.php?show=exercise&sectionID=2&exerciseID=58&searchTerms=snatch

a WONDERFUL explanation as to "why snatch":
http://home-work-out.blogspot.com/2009/08/what-is-so-functional-about-learning.html (Laura is a trainer at CFOKC.)

In the instance this seems unclear, the workout is done as follows:

Snatch x 10, moving to 2 pull-ups and finally to the 2x100 m sprints. Next snatchx8, 4 pull-ups, 2x100 sprints...and so on.

WOD and Skill Work

Working on a certain skill this week? I am currently working toward:
  • ONE muscle-up (after three years of Crossfit, it's about time). Besides, I need to take advantage of my husband's excellent coaching skills; he was my first CF trainer, after all.
  • an unassisted handstand (I've formerly resisted due to the eye-bulging feeling characteristic of doing handstands in any fashion.).
  • Repairing my running form by perfecting the pose running technique. (This one will take a while, I'm sure.)
I usually work on these when I am fresh, incorporating them into my warm-up. My husband always emphasizes the importance of fitness goals. So here you go; I have three. How about you?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

REPAIRING MY RUNNING TECHNIQUE: POSE

Attempting to perfect (or even mimic) pose running has become a vexation to me. It was recommended to me by a couple of very helpful ladies at CFSantaCruzCentral that I should make my way to a Running and Endurance Certification Seminar. Due to a constant scheduling conflict (i.e. the certs are usually on SATURDAY and Sunday), I doubt I'll be able to attend. The only choice I have at this point is to keep trying on my own. By watching the videos I can access on the internet, practicing the drills as they are demonstrated, I WILL practice and make an honest attempt at mastery of this skill.


What is pose running?
  • Explanation here
  • Videos (look for these great drill and demonstration videos here, in the left sidebar under "Videos".)
I've moved from here: "I can't."
Made my way to here: "I will. I must."

My destination: "I can." Pose running, here I come.

Friday, August 7, 2009

5th Annual Midnight Streak 5K Run

Matthew signed us up for a 5K race, the Midnight Streak. It was going to be a fun run, something neither of us "trained" for. We have a tendency NOT to train for running events. Neither of us LOVE running, so we continue on with Crossfit training, per usual, adding a long run (5K, 10K or sometimes more) once per week, leading up to the event.

We arrived two hours early to pick up our race packets, timing chips, and welcome goodie bags. We walked around, leisurely, noticing others stretching, breathing deeply, warming up... We talked and relaxed and enjoyed watching others. We met a guy before the race. He looked to be around Matthew's age. After talking to him, we found out he was 45 years old. He trained intensely before these 5K races and had everything down to a science, including the weight of his shoes. (He trained in HEAVY shoes, RACED in super-light disposable shoes, gauged for 62 kilometers. I suppose after 62 kilometers are accumulated, they are useless. Unlikely.) He asked what time we were hoping for. We looked at one another and told him we weren't "runners", we simply hoped for a decent time. After all, we don't train for these races.

The race was intense. I had no music; I heard myself and everyone around me breathing. I pushed through the kilometers as my feet carried me through them. I started a bit back in the line after the pistol blew, but I immediately began weaving my way forward, looking for an opening to pass through. Once I found a decently empty and open spot, I decided to set a goal for myself: "let as many men pass as do, but don't allow another woman to pass you". That was my motivator; I hadn't really set a time-goal and didn't have a way of really gauging my time anyway. (No, I don't have a fancy GPS pace watch. And there were no clocks along the way.) I hit the first water stop quickly, grabbing the water, pouring it mostly ON my face, and I continued. It was about 90 degrees that night (the race began at 11:30 PM) and humid, as rain was moving in. By the second water stop, the MIND had taken over: "how much further do I have?", "will I make it in without grabbing this water?", "I have to get away from this guy; his breathing is laboring me". And so I did it: I grabbed the water as I ran by, STOPPED, DRANK, and THEN resumed running.

Within moments, I saw the finish line.

I felt myself slump, internally, with disappointment that I had stopped, literally, at the water stop. I immediately forced myself into a full-sprint and ran hard the rest of the way. I saw black circles upon crossing that finish line, but with yet another drink of cold water, those passed, and I felt much better. I made my way back to the finish line, awaiting my runner-husband to cross. And he did. As strong as ever, finishing in an all-out power sprint.

We found our new running friend after the race and discussed our results. He was disappointed, of course, in his performance. My mind raced as I considered how I could have done better... But what is so great about the entire experience: there's always another race to run. And always a "next time" to beat this time!

MY RESULTS:
129/1000 TOTAL RACERS
2/83 FEMALE AGE DIVISION (30-34)
17/456 FEMALE RACERS
TIME: 22:49

Journeys in Running

"If you want to win, run a 10K...if you want to EXPERIENCE, run a MARATHON."
(I noticed this banner during the race, and it stuck with me.)thoughts on MARATHON
from May 1, 2009

So the marathon was over as quickly as it came. A day filled with festivities, remembrance, endurance and extreme effort was celebrated by all who participated. At 6:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, I embarked on the longest run I had ever attempted: 26.2 miles.

My running the full marathon was Matthew's idea. After a successful 1:53:15 half marathon last year, he was POSITIVE I could run the additional 13.1 miles to finish the 26.2. So I said I would. As you know, the year's activities led to a resistance to training, as we have been extremely busy in every area of our lives. I continued my daily Crossfit-style workouts, with no emphasis on running until...late March. My marathon training consisted of about eight 5K runs, one 10K run, and two 13.1 mile (half marathon) runs just before the marathon. I had no training "schedule", but I did my best to place due emphasis on running in the four weeks leading up to D-Day.

I prayed for good weather. Rain was in the forecast for the entire day, and wind gusts were expected to reach 30 mph. (Yes, we live on the open plains of Oklahoma, where there is little, at times, to break those gusts.) I also got up at 4:15 a.m., so to have enough time to gulp a cup of coffee, in hopes of avoided any unnecessary port-a-potty stops like last year. (It worked like a charm.)

Matthew, the kids, my mom, his mom, my sister and my two nephews all left for the big day at 5:00 a.m., eagerly anticipating the day's events. I separated from them and followed the other runners to the corral, where, by the time I arrived, I barely found a place to get in. I jumped the spectator gate and (against my will) started the race with the 11:00:00/mile pace group. I miraculously passed my family as I crossed the start line, and I began making my way forward to a faster pace group.

The start was inspiring: 19,000 participants...even more spectators...live bands, bells and whistles...and to my right as I crossed that start: the OKC Bombing Memorial, marking the place where 168 men, women and children lost their lives on April 19, 1995.

I'm a social runner. So I am in my niche with thousands surrounding me. The first 13 miles were amazingly easy. (Much easier than my two 13.1 mile training runs on the TREADMILL--gasp.) Camaraderie was high, runners talked and paced themselves wisely. But I'm not sure any of us expected what awaited us at Lake Hefner. The waters were anything but placid at the lake; it looked like the ocean, with waves cresting and crashing against the rocks. The wind gusts reached 40 mph. I saw runners, literally, being blown over by the force. That was the first point in the race in which I saw runners down, one receiving IV fluids. The winds relentlessly hung around, off and on, for the remainder of the race. Around mile 20, the muscles just above my knees began to cramp up. It was at that point that I realized I could QUIT and maybe be justified in doing so. But this race was my struggle for discipline...attaining that freakish control over mind and body...and silently asking my Maker for the strength to keep pushing. So I decided that it WAS possible to run with cramps in my legs, I just had to be willing to run a little slower. So I dropped from the 4:08:00 pace group to the following pace group at 4:21:00-4:36:00. I stopped at every re-hydration stop, walking the 15 feet to drink and consume my three pretzels, giving myself a slight respite and a chance to massage my cramps. I stayed with "the lady in the green hat" from mile 14 until about mile 23. I watched for her green hat and her white fluffy socks. I paced with her; she was reasonable. At mile 24, I began widening my eyes for the finish line, it seemed so close. I could SEE the muscles cramped in my legs now, and they began slowing me more at this point. I massaged every half-mile those last two miles.

The sweetest sight was that green FINISH banner. As I came in, I lengthened my stride and pushed harder. My right calf muscle began to cramp up, so I changed my style and began running with my calf flexed, heel striking the ground in hopes of avoiding a full-blown charlie horse. Tears hydrated my eyes as I saw that finish line. "I can't believe I'm here. I've almost completed 26.2 miles!" Victory was in sight. I passed my family and gave them a thumbs-up, dried my tears, and I ran hard. In the tradition established by my husband, I SPRINTED those last few meters, passing runner after runner, watching the seconds tick on the clock. The victory, as I passed the finish line, was not in WINNING the race but in FINISHING the race.

After a three-hour nap and a good night's rest, I was back to normal. My knees didn't swell; I could function normally the next day. I had experienced far more discomfort from a squat workout I did the week prior, which left me walking funny for three days. I realized, through the marathon experience, how amazingly God can so quickly answer a prayer for help. I can't say I finished that race on my own. I enjoyed every minute of it, through cramps and high wind, but I realize I did not finish the race on my own. Intimidated with the thought of running 26.2 miles, I set out to do what I hoped wouldn't be impossible. It feels good to have accomplished the goal I had set out to attain. And now, I am ITCHING for my next marathon. I'm not sure I'll wait until next year. But my goal for next time: beat my time of 4:36:27.


thoughts on HALF-MARATHON
from April 28, 2008


Matthew and I did something special yesterday: we came home and RELAXED. Not typical for us. We both enjoyed it immensely. We spent some extra time with the kids and rented a movie to watch with Aiden...another treat.

Why were we relaxing? Matthew ran the OKC Memorial marathon again this year. I ran the half-marathon (my longest run to-date). Matthew finished in 4:59:00; I finished the half in 1:53:15. Not too bad for not training, in my opinion. The inspiration and sense of accomplishment is rewarding enough.

Conditions yesterday would not have made any runner happy. It was around 43-50 degrees, windy and raining. By the end of the full-marathon, the sun had come out, but the wind was relentless. That didn't stop these die-hard runners. The wheelchair racers were amazing. What perseverance through the rain, the wind and the hills. I have great respect for that sort of grit and strength of character.

I found the 13.1 miles a little more difficult yesterday. I ran a little over 12 miles about a month ago (that had been my longest run in preparation for the race). My endurance level was higher then. Yesterday, I think the cool temperatures and the rain had something to do with my experience. My chest hurt early on in the race; it felt a little tight. That passed half-way into the race. I stopped FOUR times to visit the port-a-potties: what a place of refuge from the wind and rain. Surprisingly, I found myself wanting to stay in there a couple times. :) By mile 12 by legs were tightening, mostly my knees. As much as I wanted to lengthen my stride and push home faster, I COULDN'T do it! That's when I noticed MORE AND MORE people passing me. I ended at 1:53:15. My knees were my only complaint. They're swollen today.

I watched and waited for Matthew and tried to run in with him. I was so happy and so electrified when I saw him. I ran out to meet him in the home-stretch. I had this suspicion that he would sprint again this year across the finish line. After tightening up after the half-marathon, I was in no shape to keep up. He began sprinting, and, as I told him, it was like he was being lifted and transported across the finish line. HE WAS SO FAST! (I've never seen him run so fast!) He saved some good energy for that! I was proud to have to chase him. :)

Next year, whether I run the half again or the full, I hope the temperatures and weather conditions are more ideal. And I know that I will do marathon-specific training. I have kept with Crossfit, which greatly builds endurance and even mental fortitude. But I don't believe it adequately prepares one's body to accept the stress and impact of the long-distance road-running. We've been out of town so much off and on, I didn't make it a priority.

Overall, I found the race a challenge, but not hard. Now, give me 26.2 miles, and I think I'd change my story. :) The camaraderie of the runners and the spectators was so uplifting. Anytime I started to slow down (even to tie my shoelaces tighter), I would hear "don't stop now, we're almost there". When a wheelchair racer would pass, everyone would give a cheer of encouragement (and, undoubtedly, respect). It's always a little easier to push harder when there are people there with you, giving their all to run the race, too. And although a great sense of accomplishment was felt after completing the half, it was inspiring to see the faces of those coming in that last stretch of the 26.2 miles. What character and fortitude! (It made me want to finish out that next 13.1 miles...ah, next year.)

FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENTS...AND FULFILLING MY ROLE

from January 20, 2009...

You ask, how do "functional movements" and my role as mom and wife relate? I ENJOY Olympic weight-lifting. These lifts aren't easy. They demand coordination (which I have to reach deeply within myself to find). When done correctly, they are rather graceful, but nonetheless, no matter how graceful, you still get strange looks from people at most gyms. (That's why I prefer doing this A-L-O-N-E.) The movements required in the lifts are highly functional, and have enhanced my competency at many physical tasks required of me day-to-day.

Functional movements are universal motor recruitment patterns; they are performed in a wave of contraction from core to extremity; and they are compound movements—i.e., they are multi-joint. They are natural, effective, and efficient locomotors of body and external objects. But no aspect of functional movements is more important than their capacity to move large loads over long distances, and to do so quickly.(http://journal.crossfit.com/2007/04/understanding-crossfit-by-greg.tpl)

I realized this yesterday as I was CLEANING and JERKING some pretty heavy (at least 80 pounds) logs. The job wasn't easy, but it sure did go much quicker than expected. And also much faster than it would have about three years ago.

We train our athletes in gymnastics from rudimentary to advanced movements garnering great capacity at controlling the body both dynamically and statically while maximizing strength to weight ratio and flexibility. We also place a heavy emphasis on Olympic Weightlifting having seen this sport’s unique ability to develop an athletes’ explosive power, control of external objects, and mastery of critical motor recruitment patterns. And finally we encourage and assist our athletes to explore a variety of sports as a vehicle to express and apply their fitness. (http://journal.crossfit.com/2002/04/foundations.tpl)

The power that I have developed over the two-plus years of "doing what I do at the gym" is noticeable. And that's exciting to me. Not because I'm STRONGER than anyone else, because I know this not to be the case, and frankly I don't want it to be. My aim in learning these lifts and movements is to become more functional, more capable in everyday life. And I feel that is the case. In tasks from picking up a heavy bag of cat food or lawn mulch, to removing water from a paddle boat filled with rainwater, I have had the opportunity to employ these movements. They've empowered me to accomplish some things that, three years ago, I would have needed help to do. Does this excite me? Yes. But only because I see that my "working-out" has not been in vain (no pun intended).

Thursday, August 6, 2009

PULL-UPS, HALF-MOONS, BURPEES

Strength: L-sit hold, 6x20 sec, rest 1 minute between

WOD:

5 rounds for time of:

10 Kipping pull-up

10 *Half moons, count each side and use a plate (45/25)

10 Burpees

*Half-Moon Demo
http://performancemenu.com/exercises/index.php?show=exercise§ionID=5&exerciseID=151

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

REST DAY

SOCCER GAME
6 PM HWAC Soccer Field

DOOZIE/ROWING

WOD

Hang Power Clean, to front squat, to push press, to back squat, to push jerk X5=1rep. ( let’s call it a “doozie”)

5 doozies 85/115

200m row for time (substitute 20 SDHP for row)

5 rounds

SOME RECENT WORKOUTS I'VE ENJOYED

CINDY/CLEANS

for time--
5 rounds Cindy
10 squat cleans (75#)
5 rounds Cindy
10 squat cleans
5 rounds Cindy

SNATCH,OVERHEAD SQUAT, TOES to FINGERS
10 RFT
1 rep snatch, 65#
to
OHS x 10 reps, 65#
toes to fingers, 10 reps


Bear Complex
5 rounds of…

The Sequence:
1 x Power Clean
1 x Front Squat
1 x Push Press
1 x Back Squat
1 x Push Press

Performing the sequence in order is considered a single rep of the “Bear Complex”. Perform 7 reps of the Bear Complex in a row without letting the bar touch the floor (except on Power Cleans to reset). There are 5 total rounds in this WOD and you may take as long to rest as you wish between attempts.


Helen meets Nancy

4RFT
400 m run
21 KB swings, 1 pood
12 pull-ups
15 OHS, 65#


SQUATS, WALKING LUNGE, PUSH PRESS, WEIGHTED WALK

4RFT

10 squats
full-court walking lunge
15 push press, 45#
1 lap around court with 45# bar overhead