Monthly Archives: May 2012

6-1 BENCHMARK WOD

Buy in…

2x

200 Meter Run

5 KB Snatch on each arm

5 Ring Rows

WOD…

“HELEN”

3x

400 Meter Run

21 KB Swings (53/35)

12 Pull Ups

Cash Out…

200 Meter Farmer Carry

ROLL OUT

*Courtesy of the Great Fitness Expirement

From Sneaky Sugar Cravings to Speedy Sprinting – How Caffeine Affects Performance, Weight Loss and Mood

by Charlotte on May 15, 2012

Photo Credit: Fail Blog

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that diet pills don’t work. If they did, we’d all look like Carmen Electra and spend our nights partying away with the Zantrex dancers. (Not to be confused with the Valtrex dancers – that kind of party is a straight shot to the Jerry Springer Show.) And yet they sell. So who’s buying? We are, apparently.

I hate the diet pill ads and yet I’m mesmerized by them. The first time through a mag, I read it for the articles but the second time – I’m all about the advertising and I admit, these hold my attention long enough to get hemorrhoids. What is so compelling about them? The lure of quick, easy weight loss. The obvious and marked change in the before-and-after shots. The (fake, probably) testimonials. The stupid doctor. And yet, it’s our modern day fairy tale. These Cinderellas went from rags to riches – beauty is the new money, honey – all with one little magic pill. That’s even easier than a glass slipper! Cheaper too.

I remember one day in the supplement store staring at the pretty displays of diet pills when a salesman sidled up to me, ”Would you pay $80 a month to be thin the rest of your life?” Honestly? I absolutely would. In fact, most people would probably pay much more than that – it’s become that important to us. The trick, of course, is if they actually work. When I pointed out to him that they are just glorified caffeine pills, he huffed, “everybody knows that caffeine is the best weight loss drug.” I suppose he was deferring to cocaine on principle.

But is it?

Judging by the sheer number of photos of celebrities carrying coffee cups, it seems like there must be some truth to it. After all, when was the last time you saw an Olsen twin (or Lindsey or Britney) photographed without a Starbucks cup molded into her twee little hand? And caffeine in some form or another is the number one ingredient in almost every single weight-loss supplement on the market, often in heart-fibrillatingly massive doses. Even Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels recommends a caffeine/white willow bark/aspirin cocktail in her book Making the Cut. Hollywood’s opinion is clear.

What the Research Says There are many studies that show that caffeine does increase metabolism by upping your heart rate causing a thermogenic effect (as is often touted in screaming letters on diet pill packaging) and increased calorie burn. Research has also indicated that it is a mild appetite suppressant. In addition, it has also been found that a dose of caffeine before your workout can help you work up to 30% harder without upping your rate of perceived exertion thereby allowing you to burn more calories.

The problem is that none of these effects have translated into weight loss. The Mayo Clinic debunks the first two points by saying that while caffeine does suppress the appetite and up metabolism, it doesn’t do it to a significant degree and the effects don’t last long enough to make a difference in a person’s weight. Although they add the caveat that caffeine will produce a temporary decrease in weight due to its diuretic properties.

As for the last point regarding your workout, this is a documented effect. But here’s the kicker: it only works if your body is not already used to caffeine. If you never have the stuff and then slam an energy drink before a big race it can definitely increase your performance. In fact, I know many a runner who swears by this. (Be careful if you try this one out though as caffeine often has the added bonus of loosening one’s bowels. Also, be careful with your dosage. I once puked my way through a 10-miler thanks to an ill-advised caffeine pill.) But the effect is lost if your body is already acclimated to that level of caffeine. In addition, the extra work exerted during your race causes increased hunger afterward. So while you may reap some performance gains, they probably won’t translate to weight loss.

But not only does caffeine use not correlate with weight loss, it is actually linked to weight gain. Donna Sundblad of the Love To Know blog writes:

Caffeine affects cravings for food because it raises the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol raises heart rate, blood pressure and tells your body to increase its energy stores. This results in the body craving sweets. So if you’re wondering why you snacked on cookies in the afternoon, it could have something to do with that coffee you drank with breakfast.

In addition to increasing cravings for sweets, raised cortisol levels have been linked to increased storage of abdominal fat, a lower immune system and higher blood pressure among other things. Caffeine has also been linked to increased insulin resistance, the scary precursor to diabetes, not to mention the lesser side effects of jitteriness, anxiety, heart palpitations and fragmented thinking.

Conclusions Not everyone reacts to caffeine the same way. Even amongst the Gym Buddies, there are large discrepencies. I am super sensitive to caffeine and feel like I’m having a heart attack, a panic attack and diarrhea all at once from just a diet Coke but Gym Buddy Allison loves her caffeine pills to help her power through her workouts. Gym Buddy Krista seems to have built her tolerance up so high with Mountain Dew that even when she took 3 of Allison’s pills, it didn’t faze her a bit. It all depends on your level of sensitivity to caffeine, what dose you take and how often, and for what purpose you are taking it. If you just like your cup of joe in the morning or use it as your secret weapon in that sprint triathlon you are competing in, then more power to you. Just don’t count on it to help you lose weight. And, also, don’t count on the supplement salespeople to know anything.


5-31 WOD

Buy in…

2x

7 Ring Rows

5 Dips

3 Toe to Ring

WOD…

16 Minute AMRAP

8 Hand Release Push Ups

12 Overhead Walking Lunges (25/15)

16 Sit Ups

20 Double Unders

Cash Out…

Run 200 Meters Backwards

ROLL OUT and STRETCH

 

moe naqvi

Build what you believe in

Clutch vs Consistency: Every Shot Counts

by moe

Shaq was a horrible freethrow shooter, but always responded to his critics with, “I make them when they count.” By which he means he would hit free-throws late, 4th quarter or overtime, when the game was close or “on the line.” This statement has always bothered me, and, over the years, I’ve realized that this type of rational can mess people up(me included).

Every Shot Counts

A free-throw in the first quarter is worth just as much as a freethrow in the 4th quarter. Just like the 6th day of a project is just as important as the day before the release. Don’t fool yourself by thinking near deadline decisions “count” more than decisions you made earlier. I actually feel it’s the exact opposite, because consequences from early decisions lead to tougher decisions down the line. In short, the game is always on the line. A shot made in the first minute of the second quarter is just as important as a shot made in the fourth.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. — Aristotle

Consistency vs Clutch Being good under pressure is sometimes a sign of mental weakness. I think it’s similar to procrastination, where people need a deadline to inspire them. The reality is they are mentally weak to get the job done until the last possible minute. I want to be more focused on being consistent than being clutch, because the more consistent I am the less clutch I have to be.

 


5-30 WOD

Buy in…

400 Meter Run

21 Wall Balls

12 Med Ball Squat Cleans

WOD…

Strength

Wendler 3×3 Shoulder Press @ 70,80,90%

Conditioning

5x

25 Wall Balls

or

11 Squat Clean and Jerks with 95/65

or

9 Squat Clean and Jerks with 115/75

or

7 Squat Clean and Jerks with 135/90

or

5 Squat Clean and Jerks with 155/105

and

a 100 Meter Sprint Lap

*Rest 2 Minutes between rounds

Cash Out…

Row a light 500

Stretch with the bands

*I know I need this tip from CrossFit Max Effort in Vegas…

In the push-up, mid-line stability is maintained by keeping a straight body position from your shoulder all the way to your ankle, throughout the entire movement.

Top position.  Look from the shoulder joint all the way down to the ankle.

Bottom position.  Mid-line stability maintained, shoulder to ankle.


5-29 WOD

Buy in…

Team Row

1000 Meters Per Person

WOD…

Strength

Wendler Deadlift 3×3 @ 70,80,90%

Conditioning

One Minute on, One Minute off, for 10 Minutes

30 Russian KB Swings (53/35)

*If you don’t get the 30 swings per minute then you get a penalty, the penalty is a 1,000 meter row.

*WOD idea taken from CrossFit Football

Cash Out…

12-9-6-3

Hollow Rock

Superman

Roll Out and Stretch with the bands

We again want to thank everyone who showed up today to honor “Murph”. It was fun to watch so many people push so hard in this workout. We are very greatful to be surrounded with such a great group. You guys make this community what it is, THANK YOU!

*Courtesy of CrossFit Albany

Life Strategy from an Old Man

Posted on April 29, 2012 by Jason

I have not perfected life…I don’t plan on it.  But here are a few things I have picked up along the way…

Adopt a Dog – one of the best things you can do for you and your future best friend.  Every day you will be reminded of how you did something positive for the world.  Bonus points if it has 3 legs.coaching

It doesn’t pay to be lazy.

Write down important things – “the pen is for remembering, the mind is for thinking”

Eat Raw Garlic – I am convinced this is what keeps me healthy.  Side note, you will smell…

Have a life outside of CrossFit – in CrossFit we are taught to not specialize, same goes for life.  Whether it’s dance, martial arts, writing, learning an instrument, riding a horse, or volunteering…there is more to life than CrossFit (gasp!).

Smile.

Read – as in, read books.  Even if just 10 minutes each day, it’s exercise for you brain.  Need a good book?  Join the ACF Book Club!

Spend within your means – this goes without saying, but people still forget.  Keep a budget, get a financial planner (plug Sasa here), but most importantly spend smart.

Laugh.

Use a Neti Pot – it’s gross, but it works.

Foam Roll and Stretch – I was neglecting this and couldn’t understand why I wasn’t recovering…duh!  I make sure to Warm-Up for at least 15 minutes and Foam Roll for at least 15 minutes every WOD, even if that means less WOD time.  My body thanks me.

Remember everyone is dealing with their own issues – someone bothering you at work, home, the gym (no way!), they have their own problems going on, it’s not all about you.

“The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion, style, compassion, generosity and humor and finally with kindness.” –Author Unknown


5-28 Memorial Day Hero WOD (CLASS TIMES 8:00 and 9:00 AM ONLY)

“Murph”

For time: 1 mile Run 100 Pull-ups 200 Push-ups 300 Squats 1 mile Run

In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he’d named it “Body Armor”. From here on it will be referred to as “Murph” in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run.

*We’ll scale this as a team if you don’t want to take it all on yourself.

*Please read the story below to understand more about “Murph”

BATH, Maine  (AP) — Engaged in a  frenzied firefight and outnumbered by the Taliban, Navy Lt. Michael  Murphy made a desperate decision as he and three fellow SEALs fought for  their lives on a rocky mountainside in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province in  2005.

In a last-ditch effort to save his team, Murphy pulled out his  satellite phone, walked into a clearing to get reception and called for  reinforcements as a fusillade of bullets ricocheted around him. One of  the bullets hit him, but he finished the call and even signed off,  “Thank you.”

Then he continued the battle.

USS Michael Murphy: Navy SEAL Honored With Warship Bearing His Name

Dan Murphy, the sailor’s father, said it didn’t surprise him that  his slain son nicknamed “The Protector” put himself in harm’s way. Nor  was he surprised that in the heat of combat his son was courteous.

“That was Michael. He was cool under fire. He had the ability to  process information, even under the most difficult of circumstances.  That’s what made him such a good SEAL officer,” Murphy said.

A warship bearing the name of the Medal of Honor recipient will  be christened Saturday — on what would have been Murphy’s 35th birthday —  at Bath Iron Works, where the destroyer is being built.

Murphy, who was 29 when he died, graduated from Pennsylvania  State University and was accepted to multiple law schools, but decided  he could do more for his country as one of the Navy’s elite SEALS —  special forces trained to fight on sea, air and land — the same forces  that killed Osama bin Laden this week in Pakistan.

 

Heightened security will be in effect as Murphy’s mother,  Maureen, christens the ship by smashing a bottle of champagne against  the bow of the 510-foot-long warship as Murphy’s father, brother and  others watch.

Murphy, of Patchogue, N.Y., earned his nickname after getting  suspended in elementary school for fighting with bullies who tried to  stuff a special-needs child into a locker and for intervening when some  youths were picking on a homeless man, said Dan Murphy, a lawyer, former  prosecutor and Army veteran who served in Vietnam.

Maureen Murphy said he thought he was too young to take a desk  job as a lawyer. Instead, he went to officer candidate school, the first  step on his journey to become a SEAL officer. He was in training during  the Sept. 11 attacks, which shaped his views.

His view was that there are “bullies in the world and people  who’re oppressed in the world. And he said, ‘Sometimes they have to be  taken care of,’” she said.

On June 28, 2005, the day he was killed, Murphy was leading a  SEAL team in northeastern Afghanistan looking for the commander of a  group of insurgents known as the Mountain Tigers.

The Operation Red Wings reconnaissance team rappelled down from a  helicopter at night and climbed through rain to a spot 10,000 feet high  overlooking a village to keep a lookout. But the mission was  compromised the following morning when three local goat herders happened  upon their hiding spot.

USS Michael Murphy: Navy SEAL Honored With Warship Bearing His NameHigh in the Hindu Kush mountains, Murphy and Petty Officers  Marcus Luttrell of Huntsville, Texas; Matthew Axelson of Cupertino,  Calif.; and Danny Dietz of Littleton, Colo.; held a tense discussion of  the rules of engagement and the fate of the three goat herders, who were  being held at gunpoint.

If they were Taliban sympathizers, then letting the herders go  would allow them to alert the Taliban forces lurking in the area;  killing them might ensure the team’s safety, but there were issues of  possible military charges and a media backlash, according to Luttrell,  the lone survivor.

Murphy, who favored letting the goat herders go, guided a  discussion of military, political, safety and moral implications. A  majority agreed with him.

An hour after the herders were released, more than 100 Taliban  armed with AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades opened  fire, attacking from higher elevation, and maneuvering to outflank the  SEALs, said Gary Williams, author of “Seal of Honor,” a biography of  Murphy.

Dan Murphy said his son made the right call.

“It was exactly the right decision and what Michael had to do.  I‘m looking at it from Michael’s perspective, that these were clearly  civilians. One of them was 14 years old, which was about the age of his  brother. Michael knew the rules of engagement and the risks associated  with it,” the father said.

As the only survivor, Luttrell has pangs of regret for voting to  go along with Murphy, his best friend; he now believes the team could’ve  survived if the goat herders were killed.

In his own book, “Lone Survivor,” Luttrell wrote that Murphy was  shot in the stomach early in the firefight, but ignored the wound and  continued to lead the team, which killed dozens of Taliban attackers.  The injuries continued to mount as the SEALs were forced to scramble,  slide and tumble down the mountain in the face of the onslaught.

Three of the team members had been shot at least once when Murphy  decided drastic action was needed to save the team, Luttrell wrote.  With the team’s radio out of commission, Murphy exposed himself to enemy  gunfire by stepping into a clearing with a satellite phone to make a  call to Bagram Airfield to relay the dire situation. He dropped the  phone after being shot, then picked it up to complete the phone call  with four words: “Roger that, thank you.”

By the end of the two-hour firefight, Murphy, Dietz and Axelson  were dead. The tragedy was compounded when 16 rescuers — eight  additional SEALs and eight members of the Army’s elite “Night Stalkers” —  were killed when their MH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down by a  rocket-propelled grenade.

It was the largest single-day loss in naval special warfare  history. All told, 33 SEALS have been killed in action since the Sept.  11 attacks, officials say.

USS Michael Murphy: Navy SEAL Honored With Warship Bearing His Name

Luttrell, who was blown off the mountain by a rocket-propelled  grenade and knocked unconscious, evaded capture until he was taken in by  villagers who protected him until he was liberated five days later by  special forces. He has since left the Navy, gotten married and launched a  foundation; he‘s unable to attend Saturday’s event because his wife is  in the final days of pregnancy, a spokesman for Luttrell said.

Navy Cmdr. Chad Muse, commanding officer of SEAL Delivery Team 1  in Hawaii, noted one of Murphy‘s favorite books was Steven Pressfield’s  “Gates of Fire,” an account of outnumbered Spartans and their epic  battle against hundreds of thousands of invading Persians nearly 2,500  years ago at the Battle of Thermopylae.

Like the Spartans, who were ultimately slaughtered, Murphy had a  spirit that didn’t give up. “It’s about sacrifice and the Spartan ideal —  and valor and heroism in battle,” Muse said.


5-25 HERO/BENCHMARK

 

Buy in…

5-1

Complex with the bar

Toe 2 Bar

WOD…

“Coe”

Ten rounds for time of: 95 pound Thruster, 10 reps 10 Ring push-ups

Mikko Salo 9:55, Peter Egyed 11:07, Kristan Clever 11:28 (65lbs), Rebecca Voigt 11:46 (65lbs), Kim Malz 13:49 (65lbs), Elyse Umeda 14:34 (65lbs). Post time to comments.

HeroKeithACoe_th.jpg

Enlarge image

Army Sgt. Keith Adam Coe, 30, of Auburndale, Fla., assigned to the 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., died April 27th, 2010, in Khalis, Iraq, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an explosive device. He is survived by his wife Katrina Coe, two sons, Killian and Keith Jr., and daughter, Klover.


5-24 WOD

Buy in…

3x

3 KB Cleans

3 KB Snatch

6 Around the Worlds

WOD…

5 Min AMRAP

50 Mountain Climbers

20 Russian Swings

10 KB Squat Cleans

Rest 2 Minutes

5 Min AMRAP

Row for Calories

Rest 2 Minutes

5 Min AMRAP

25 Sit Ups

25 Doubles

Cash Out…

100 Meter Farmer Carry

Roll and Bands

*Courtesy of Whole 9

Exercise

2 May, 2012

A very special guest post by Mary Boudreau Conover, BSNed – for those of you who like to know the behind-the-scenes on how your body works during exercise.

Every single system in the body is involved in satisfying the needs of working muscles.  Your heart rate speeds up along with your respirations; blood vessels to your stomach, gut, liver, and kidneys constrict in order to send more blood to the working muscles; you sweat and your muscles let you know they are there.  This article is about one of those systems, the one that generates and produces energy.

Adenosine Triphosphate

The food we eat is converted into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) before our muscles can use it for a source of energy.  ATP, Once used and depleted, becomes adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and must be restored to ATP before it can function again as an energy source.  Necessarily, but also remarkably, this ATP breakdown uses some of the energy it produces to immediately restore and ready itself again and again to provide energy, not only for the muscle contractions that we are all interested in, but also for numerous and eloquent microcellular processes, such as enzyme-catalyzed metabolism and the life-supporting Na+/K+ATPase pump, which transports and exchanges critical ions across cellular membranes.  There are so many chemical reactions, negative closed loops, and organ functions in our body that we can’t live without, but when we talk about energy, ATP is the bank, the reserve, and our life-support.

Three  Backup Systems

There are three backup systems in sequence that take care of the resynthesis of ATP and see the body through grueling, intense, lengthy and sometimes, in some professions, life-saving high-alert demands on muscles that are being spurred on by the dominance of the sympathetic nervous system.

1. The Phosphagen System (aka the ATP-PC system)The first few seconds of ATP energy release takes care of short powerful movements, but what about the 100 meter sprinter or the weightlifter?  There is a backup with a high energy bond right there ready and waiting in the cell.  It is phosphagen creatine (PC).   When the muscle contracts the bond between the two is broken and energy is released to resynthesize ATP for a short time.[1] [2]

2.  The Glycogen-Lactic Acid System (aka the Glycolytic or the Anaerobic Systems). Energy for the sprinter and the weightlifter has been taken care of by the phosphagen system, but what about the 100 meter swim or the 200 to 400 meter run?  Ten-seconds isn’t going to do it.  At this point, the athlete’s body taps into stored glycogen.  The process of glycolysis breaks the glycogen into glucose, releasing enough energy for 1-3 minutes when the glucose is split into two pyruvic acid molecules.  The energy released from this reaction resynthesizes ATP.  But what happens to the loose pyruvic acid?

There are two possibilities for the fate of the pyruvic acid. They are glycolysis with and without oxygen.

1)    With oxygen, the pyruvic acid is essentially recycled, entering into the mitochondria to generate more energy through the oxidative stage of glycolysis, which in turn produces ATP.

2)    Without oxygen, the pyruvic acid becomes lactic acid, which can diffuse out of the muscle cells into the blood stream, and on to the liver to be reconverted to glycogen, once again a source of fuel.

3.  The Aerobic System. We have the energy for the short-lap runner and swimmer taken care of, but what about the marathon runner, rower, and the cross-country skier who’s using every muscle group in his body?  And there’s still the swimmer who’s doing his usual mile (1.6 km) every full moon.  What?  Well, yes. Just ask a swimmer.  These guys need oxygen!4  About two-minutes into the exercise, the athlete’s body responds by a process called “aerobic respiration” or “oxidation,” during which, through a complex series of chemical reactions, glycogen is transformed into ATP and made available to the “time unlimited” guy as long the fuel supply lasts.

Active Cool-down for Painful Burning Muscles

Dr. Mackenzie[3]  explains the muscle burn as a result of low pH secondary to a build-up of hydrogen ions, which diffuse into the blood stream along with the lactate.  The low pH stimulates the free nerve endings in the muscle, resulting in burning pain.  The break-down and removal of lactic acid may take 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, but can be hurried along by an active cool-down, which should obviously be below the intensity of the workout.  A more detailed description can be found in the reference.


References

[1] Freudenrich CC:  How Exercise Works, Discovery Fit & Health.

[2] Adenosine Triphosphate, Wikipedia, [accessed 4/25/12].

[3] Mackenzie B: Lactic Acid 1999

[4] Energy Proportion Graphs