Monthly Archives: February 2012

3-1 WOD

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10 Figure 8’s

10 KB Squat Clean

10 1 Arm Swings on each side



3×5 Hang Clean (Not a 5rm… Increase the load each time and keep solid form.)


12 Minute AMRAP

10 Wall Balls
10 Hang Power Clean
10 Push Ups (Hand Release feet on a plate)
Cash Out…
100 Meter Farmer Carry
Roll Out



2-29 WOD

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Double Under



5 OHS on the Minute for 5 Minutes



12 Shoulder to Overhead

24 KB Swings

36 Double Unders

*Rest 1 Minute between rounds

Cash Out…

Shoulder Mobility


*Courtesy of Marks Daily Apple

Brightly Colored Vegetable Salad with Chermoula  Dressing

chermoula salad1Although a knobby old root vegetable has it charms, the  eye-catching hues of brightly colored veggies are much harder to resist.  Luckily, when it comes to the gorgeous red, yellow, purple, orange and green  hues of brightly-colored vegetables, their beauty isn’t only skin deep.

As discussed  earlier in the week, brightly colored vegetables are valuable for their  potentially health-promoting plant pigments. The strategy for adding these  pigments into your diet is simple: eat a wide variety of brightly colored  vegetables. You can stir  fry them, sauté them, lightly steam the veggies or, easiest of all, eat them  raw. To make a plate of raw veggies more interesting, a bold dressing is in  order and chermoula is just the thing.


Although chermoula looks pesto-like and is often referred to as a North  African version of pesto,  the flavor is quite different. You only have to stick your nose in the bowl and  take a whiff to know that what follows will be herbaceous and bit smoky from the  paprika and cumin. Chermoula (sometimes also spelled charmoula) is more  aggressive, less creamy and in some ways more versatile than pesto. It can dress  any brightly colored vegetable you can find, whether raw or cooked, and also  makes a nice topping for sulfur-rich  veggies like Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Chermoula is also fantastic on  fish, steak and chicken either as a sauce or a marinade before cooking.


If you taste the chermoula straight from the bowl, the flavors will seem  disjointed and a little mild, but once the sauce is poured over vegetables and  given a little time to soak in, the flavor really comes alive. When generously  coated in chermoula, a simple bowl of bell peppers, carrots and green  beans transforms into a dish everyone will be talking about at the table.  Try the dressing over this trio of brightly colored vegetables, or choose an  entirely different combination. There’s not really a vegetable out there with  which chermoula can’t be enjoyed.

Servings: 4


chermoula ingredients

  • 1/2 pound green beans
  • 3 Bell peppers of different colors, sliced
  • 2-4 carrots, grated or sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped, loosely packed cilantro
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped, loosely packed parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (lightly toasted in a pan) or 1 teaspoon ground  cumin
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Optional: a pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes


Bring a pot of water to a boil then add green beans for 3 minutes. Drain and  rinse with cold water.

boiling beans

In a large bowl mix together green beans, peppers and carrots. Set aside.

In a food processor blend all remaining ingredients, except olive oil, until  finely chopped.

chopping ingredients

Then, slowly drizzle the olive oil in until the texture is similar to pesto.  Add plenty of sea salt to taste. To make the dressing spicier, add cayenne or  red pepper flakes.


Cover the veggies with the chermoula and toss so everything is covered. If  possible, let the salad sit for a little bit so the veggies soak up the flavor  more.

Alone in a covered container, the chermoula dressing will keep at least a  week. Bring up to room temperature before using – straight out of the fridge the  flavors are less pronounced.

chermoula salad1



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10 Med Ball Front Squat

10 Med Ball Push Press

10 Wall Balls



20 Min AMRAP

5 Pull Ups

10 Push Ups

15 Squats

Cash Out…

Shoulder Band Work

Roll Out!

Courtesy of

After exercise, it starts. The body begins the process of recovery, adapting and preparing for the next challenge.

There are two basic types of recovery. The first is the restoration of fuel supplies–the carbohydrates and fats that supply energy to the working muscle.

The second is adaptation, in which the structure and metabolic processes of the muscles are rebuilt and reinforced to be stronger and more efficient.

Different types of exercise will stimulate different types of adaptation. After a bout of endurance exercise, there is an increase in enzymes and structures for fat metabolism and better fatigue resistance.

After resistance training, there is an increase in strength and size of muscle fibers. Sprint training stimulates both. Enzymes and muscle fibers are made of protein.

Adaptation depends on an increase in protein synthesis–the making of new proteins. How much protein synthesis occurs after exercise depends on the balance between the breakdown and the building of proteins.

While hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone are released to support and enhance this process, this balance ultimately depends on nutrition.

To maximize athletic performance, the goal is to create an environment in your body between exercise sessions that minimizes the breakdown of protein and maximizes protein synthesis. This principle is also true for seniors embarking on a strength-training program.

Protein breakdown is the predominant process under stressful conditions like exercise–stress and fasting activates the release of cortisol, a catabolic hormone released to combat inflammation and break down proteins to amino acids that can be used for energy.

When cortisol is allowed to remain elevated after exercise, protein breakdown continues.

A common mistake among athletes is to refrain from eating after exercise either because they think that fat burning will continue at a higher rate or because their appetite is depressed.

It is better to eat and drink immediately after exercise, especially after prolonged or high-intensity workouts.

Sport drinks or foods that deliver high glycemic carbohydrates will stimulate an insulin response from the pancreas. Insulin counteracts cortisol and minimizes protein breakdown.

The combination of insulin and carbohydrate also increases glycogen storage in the muscle, which improves intensity and quality of subsequent training sessions. Consistent, high-quality training is how you get better.

In spite of the natural increase in testosterone and growth hormone after exercise, protein synthesis remains low. All the essential amino acids must be present in the muscle in order for proteins to be made.

After exercise, however, the limited availability of amino acids and energy will limit protein synthesis. A recent study found that addition of just 10 grams of protein to the post-exercise carbohydrate resulted in a net increase of protein uptake.

Take in about 20 grams of protein for an optimal response. You can easily accomplish this with a scoop of whey powder added to your post-exercise sports drink or smoothie.

Unfortunately, beer is not a good source of carbohydrate. Alcohol taken after exercise depresses testosterone secretion in men.

The amino acid glutamine also mitigates the catabolic effects of cortisol. In addition, glutamine is a potent stimulator of protein synthesis by increasing the pool of amino acids and encouraging hydration of the muscle cells.

High glutamine concentrations exert an osmotic effect, pulling water into the cell. Hydration is a powerful anabolic signal. Glutamine also stimulates testosterone and growth hormone secretion. Addition of 2 to 4 grams of glutamine to the post-exercise carbohydrate and protein cocktail will enhance recovery and lead to better training sessions.

Attention to nutrition must continue well past the immediate post-exercise period. Four hours after a bout of strength training, protein synthesis will be increased by 50 percent. After 24 hours, it is elevated by 109%. It doesn’t return to baseline until 36 to 48 hours later. Undernutrition will limit this process.

If the amino acids, vitamin, minerals and other building blocks aren’t there when they’re needed, the building stops. The result is sub-par adaptation to training.

Pay attention to your nutrition and hydration. Eat regularly spaced, balanced meals that deliver both high-quality protein and carbohydrate and are packed with vitamins and minerals. Maintain hydration by drinking at least 2 quarts of fluid per day.

How much daily protein a person needs depends on their training program. A weightlifter or body builder or an athlete that is still growing may need as much as 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

A runner, bicyclist, swimmer or soccer player would do well with 0.75 grams per pound. If the athlete is overweight, calculate protein needs based on goal body weight.

Most of the protein should be supplied by high-quality, whole food sources such as milk, beef, fish, chicken, tofu or beans. Whole foods also supply essential nutrients necessary for basic health, sports performance and optimal utilization of protein.

When you leave the gym or playing field, get off your bike, out of the pool or off your feet, you’re not done. The nutrition that happens between training sessions will determine how well you do.



2-27 WOD

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10 Russian Swings

10 Around the Worlds

10 Goblet Squats



Spend 10 Minutes working on the clean with a lighter weigth


20-15-10-5 Deadlift (185/135) *No more than 60%

*Do 50 Sit Ups after each set

Cash Out…

25 Supermans

Roll Out

*Courtesy of Mark’s Daily Apple

Why You Should Eat Brightly Colored Fruits and  Vegetables

beetToday I round out my Wahls-inspired series on the  health benefits of eating various classes of plant matter. If you’re just now  joining us, be sure to watch the video in  which Terry Wahls explains how eating a Paleo diet rich in leafy greens,  cruciferous vegetables, and brightly colored produce (plus meat  and seaweed  and fish  and offal)  coincided with a regression in her rapidly-progressing MS. Then, read the  previous two installments on leafy  greens and crucifers  to get completely caught up.

All ready? Good.


You know how those deep red beets sliced in half to show off the insides,  those taut blueberries, those purple and violet mottled, oddly-shaped heirloom  tomatoes lightly dusted with soil, and those glistening blackberries sitting in  your periphery pop out and draw your gaze as you make your way through the  farmers’ market? That’s not just clever product placement. It’s actually because  of the pretty colors. It’s innate. It’s by “design.” Mother nature, you see, is  a masterful visual merchandiser who comes up with all these lovely colors so  that plants can reproduce. But wait – how does color help plants reproduce?

Simple. Plants tend to be stationary. Except for the ents, they are, quite  literally, rooted in place. A tomato plant can’t walk, can’t kneel and lovingly  place its firstborn into a shallow womb dug into the soft, fertile earth. That  would be awesome to see, but it’s not gonna happen. What does happen is that  colorful plants catch the eye of hungry organisms who eat the fruit, swallow the  seed, and poop it out someplace else, thus giving it a chance to take hold,  germinate, and develop into a full-blown adult plant. In order to disseminate  their progeny across the land, many plants must therefore manufacture pigments – colorful compounds that draw the eye and signal “food source” to mobile, hungry  organisms. Being mobile, hungry organisms ourselves, we are also attracted to  colorful fruits and vegetables.

And for good reason. See, mother nature is also thrifty. It’s rare that she  manufactures a compound with only one use – she likes her creations to multitask – and plant pigments are no different. They serve multiple roles in plants in  addition to attracting animals, such as protecting it from UV damage, dampening  the effects of excess light, enabling photosynthesis, and even acting as  endogenous antioxidants (plants can’t really sip red wine and pop supplements,  after all). Luckily, it appears that we can leverage many of these pigments for  our own gain by eating brightly colored fruits and  vegetables.

Which is why both Terry Wahls and I recommend eating a wide variety of them.  There are hundreds of different bioactive plant pigments, each with unique  effects. Rather than isolate just one or two, by eating a variety of colorful  plants we ensure consumption of a wide range of potentially health-promoting  plant pigments.

I could end this post now with the basic advice to “eat colorful foods and  lots of them.” This would cut down on reading time, ingratiate myself to vegan  and vegetarian  readers, and still manage to convey an effective, actionable message. But alas,  I know you guys like the gritty details. It’s not enough (for most of you) to  read someone tell you that eating blueberries and purple sweet potatoes is  healthy. Sometimes you want to vividly imagine those anthocyanins sliding down  your gullet, preventing  the oxidation of omega-3 fatty acids in your gut, and interacting with your  body at the cellular level to produce beneficial antioxidant and/or hormetic  effects. Sometimes you want to know what you’re putting inside your body on a  deeper level. If that’s you, keep on reading. If it’s not, just go out, eat some  colorful produce, and you’ll be fine.

When I put this post together, I struggled with formatting. Should I cover  each individual pigment? With dozens of them out there, that would be a large  undertaking. Should I cover each plant? Plants contain multiple pigments, so it  could get confusing rather quickly. Should I cover each color? That’s confusing,  because there’s a lot of overlapping and combinations of different pigments into  different colors. I decided to break them up into pigment categories.

Anthocyanins and Other Flavonoids

Since I already mentioned anthocyanins, let’s start there. Anthocyanins are  flavonoids, the most common type of polyphenol. Pretty much any fruit,  vegetable, or flower with a significant amount of purple or blue gets that color  from anthocyanins. Even some reds can be anthocyanin-based. The deeper the  color, the more anthocyanins. We’re talking:

Blueberries – Anthocyanin-rich blueberry juice improved cognitive  function and memory in aging adult humans.

Raspberries (black and red) – Raspberry juice shows anti-atherosclerotic effects in hyperlipidemic rodents, and although  human studies are lacking, there is a strong basis for considering them a  healthful food.

Blackberries – Perhaps my  favorite berry, blackberries are rich in flavonoid pigments with in vivo  evidence of protection against neurological degeneration and bone loss.

Purple sweet potatoes – Tons of references in my sweet  potato post (that’s my post about sweet potatoes, not my sweet post about  potatoes). Same goes for regular purple potatoes.

Eggplants – Nasunin, a potent eggplant anthocyanin that is strongly  absorbed in the GI tract, displays antioxidant  effects. Make sure to eat the peel, though.

Cherries – Although (again) human studies are lacking, the  considerable anthocyanin  content of cherries suggests that their efficacy  in animal  models may well carry over to us.

Cranberries – Cranberry juice, whose anthocyanins are bioavailable  in humans after drinking, improved vascular  function in heart disease patients.

Purple tomatoes – In addition to carotenoids (more on those  below), purple  tomatoes also contain significant levels of anthocyanins.

Purple carrots – Same goes for purple carrots.

There are even vegetables that have feet (roots?) both in the colorful camp  and the sulfur-rich or leafy-green camps. Like:

Red leaf lettuce – Leafy green and colorful.

Radicchio – Leafy green and colorful.

Red cabbage – Sulfur-rich and colorful (with 36  different anthocyanins).

Purple cauliflower – Sulfur-rich and colorful.

Purple kale – Leafy green, sulfur-rich, and colorful.

I could go on, but I won’t. The point is that any plant with these colors is  going to contain these compounds, because these compounds literally are the  colors. That means I’ve missed the vast majority of anthocyanin sources, but it  also means that you’ll have an easy time finding them out there in the world.  Eat up (but rinse your mouth out after; they stain) and go for blues, reds, and  purples.

Oh, yeah. There are a couple other relevant flavonoids. Anthocyanins get the  most press, but there are other foods with potentially beneficial health effects  due to flavonoid content.

Turmeric – Contains curcumin, which gives the spice its  distinctive, persistent yellow color. I’ve written an entire piece on the health  benefits of turmeric, and curcumin is responsible for the lion’s share of  them.

Apples and onions – A light yellow pigment, quercetin is  found in apples and onions (except for white onions). Red and yellow onions are  high in quercetin (PDF), while most of the quercetin in apples resides in the skin.


Carotenoids are pigments that provide the orange, yellow, and red colors  found in foods like carrots (get it?), sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, bell  peppers, squash, watermelon and tomatoes. You’ve got beta-carotene,  alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, gamma-carotene, and beta-zeacarotene, which  can be partially converted to retinol, the active (animal) form of vitamin A.  You’ve also got lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin, which cannot be converted to  vitamin A.

Don’t rely on carotenoids to fulfill your vitamin A requirements. Liver and  egg yolks are much better, more reliable sources. Besides, beta-carotene  supplementation doesn’t seem to work very well. In several studies, it has  appeared to increase the risk of lung and prostate cancer, and a 2007 Cochrane review found  that beta-carotene supplements were associated with an increase in general mortality. “Supplementation” of  alpha-carotene, via carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables, however, appears to have the opposite relationship. Huh, food’s good  for you… who knew?

Get carotenes through orange vegetables and fruits, like squash, carrots,  sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, and bell peppers.

The other carotenoids – the ones that don’t convert to vitamin A, like  lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin – appear to be helpful. Both lutein and  zeaxanthin accumulate in the retinas of our eyes, where they seem to  play major roles. The more lutein and zeaxanthin you eat, the more it  accumulates in your retina (although this is most  pronounced in patients with low baseline pigment levels). Low dietary  intake of lutein and zeaxanthin are associated with elevated incidences of age-related macular degeneration, and  a similar  relationship was found for cataracts.

Get lutein and zeaxanthin through spinach, kale (what doesn’t kale have?),  dandelion greens, chard, collards, romaine lettuce, paprika, and turnip  greens.

Lycopene does some cool stuff, too. It reduces lipid peroxidation in people with heart disease, as  well as protects  the skin against UV-related damage from the sun. There’s also a lot  of research into the effect of lycopene intake on cancer.

The best sources of lycopene are cooked tomato products, like tomato  paste or sauce, especially cooked with  fat (but not sunflower  oil!), but lower levels can be attained through raw tomatoes, pink grapefruit,  pink guava, and watermelon. The absolute best source, however, is gac, a  Vietnamese fruit that beats tomatoes by 70-fold. It also contains high levels of  other carotenoids, all of which are bound by long chain fats, making them even  more bioavailable. Anyone every try gac?


Although betalain pigments are described as “deep red” and “purple” and sound  similar to the anthocyanin family, they are not the same. They look different  (just compare a beet to a strawberry – not quite the same). In fact, betalains  and anthocyanins have never been found in the same plant; they appear to be mutually exclusive.  Besides the beet (where “betalain” gets its name), rhubarb, and the stems of  chard, there aren’t very many sources of readily edible betalains. I suppose you  could throw together a floral salad of bougainvillea, amaranth, and purple  cacti, but for the most part, you’re going to get your betalains from beets.

All beets contain all betalains, just in different ratios. In purple or  red beets, betacyanins predominate. In yellow beets, betaxanthins  predominate.

Possible benefits of betalains include:

Inhibition of  lipid peroxidation.

A beet extract rich in betacyanins showed cytotoxic  effects on human prostate and breast cancer lines.

Betacyanins  from red beets protected gamma-irradiated mice.

Well, I hope that’s enough to convince you to include more color in your  diet. As you can see, not all of the benefits of plant pigments are “proven,” but they’re probably all quite safe in the amounts you’ll find in foods. So go  ahead and eat up a wide variety. If they do turn out to be helpful, you’ll have  hedged your bet quite nicely.

With all that said, what are your favorite brightly colored edible plants?  How do you like to get your anthocyanins, carotenoids, and betalains (well, I  bet I can guess how you get that last one)?

Read more:

2-24 WOD


Thought the above was funny! But they are good for you:)

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12 Figure 8’s

12 One Arm Swings

12 Press



Toe 2 Bar/KTE/Knee Raise

Do 6 Unbroken in rythem every minute for 5 minutes


15 Min ARMAP

6 Hang Cleans

9 Slam Balls

12 Russian Swings

15 Step Ups

Cash Out…

3 Rounds

20 Second Plank Hold

20 Second Squat Hold

20 Second FLR

Courtesy of CrossFit MC

Long Live The Burpee!

by Tai on May 17, 2011

in CFMC Daily


The Burpee: Everyone’s favorite movement. Personally, I hate them and I know there isn’t a person at the gym who enjoys seeing them on the board. They are incredibly simple – you get on the floor, make your chest touch the ground, get back up, do a little hop and clap your hands over your head. They don’t require much coordination, agility, strength, or any real skill at all. I can teach someone who’s never seen one in their life to be a burpee ninja in about 15 seconds, yet they have been and will most likely remain the least favorite movement among CrossFit athletes. But as a coach, there’s something intriguing about them (aside from watching peoples’ heads drop in disgust when it’s time to get started on them): Burpees are without a doubt one of the best training tools I’ve ever seen.

Burpees are hard, annoying, and very unpleasant (especially when the guy doing the programming puts more than 100 in the WOD). I know and love this about them. I’ve been doing them for a few years now, and I still hate doing them. But keep in mind that this is a CrossFit gym, and I assure you that how you feel about burpees is far less important to me than how much better you can become because of them. If nothing else, they teach you how to “quit bitching and deal with it” when faced with something unpleasant to do outside the gym. See? Now that’s practical fitness!

But the main reason I like them is because I believe they are purely a matter of will, and they challenge you in a way that is unique to burpees: No matter how many you’ve just done, you can always do one more. You may not feel like you can after 250 or so, but if someone held a gun to your head and threatened to pull the trigger unless you did another burpee, you would clamber through another one – and you know it. You may argue, you may whine, you may complain between your gasps for breath, but you can ALWAYS do one more. This fact alone tests (and trains) your will to push yourself past your comfort zone without danger of injury from losing your grip in the middle of a kip or having a loaded barbell fall on your head, and unless you can push yourself beyond the level of discomfort you’re currently comfortable with, your level of fitness will stay right where it is now.

These horrible little monsters are a matter of WILL, and if you have the WILL to push yourself to greatness, then it WILL be yours. Don’t settle for less than incredible. Do your burpees like Jiminy Cricket on amphetamines, even when you’re tired – ESPECIALLY when you’re tired – and you’ll teach yourself how to be awesome.

2-23 WOD

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10 Goblet Squats
10 6 Point Burpees
10 Russian Swings



Push Jerk ( Spend 5 minutes just working on the skill with a lighter weight )


400 Meter Run or 500 Meter Row
15-1 by Odd Numbers
Pull Up
Sit Up
400 Meter Run or 500 Meter Row

Cash Out
Shoulder Mobility
Sampson Stretch
Roll Out

2-22 WOD

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10 Around the Worlds

10 Figure 8’s

10 Goblet Squats



Burgener Warm Up Drills


Do a 20 second static hold on the Pullup bar every Minute for 5

50 Push Ups
Double Under 3:1 Singles
Walking Lunge
50 Push Ups

Cash Out
Roll Out

“Work every day. No matter what has happened the day or night before, get up and bite on the nail.” — Ernest Hemingway