Saturday, October 31, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The stopwatch is without a doubt our greatest tool and greatest hurdle.
With it as a tool we can turn any workout into a measure of power.
For this same reason it can become a tremendous hurdle - short cuts, gaming, less than optimal technique appear due to the stopwatch in my opinion.
To that end it is important as an athlete(and as a coach) to remember Coach Glassman's basic tenet of Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity.
Crossfit Crew's program is helping me to rediscover intensity that I was starting to lose through gaming WODs to get better times, The programming schedules heaps of strength and rest which I think are vital to consistently good mechanics.
Yesterday I shaved nearly 3 mins of my Deadlift Burpee WOD time by focusing on making each and every deadlift solid(this was my metcon rest) and going continuously (at least that was the plan) on the burpees.
Still enjoying the experiment.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Today I did the 4th WOD as per Crossfit Crew's programming this is the start of a month long trial that I am confident I will enjoy for a number of reasons:
1. It is awesome to not do your own programming! I just log on find out the WOD and worry about where I am going to fit it into my busy day. This could be achieved by following .com too but I like crew's programming for the reasons below.
2. Ross Blake is really into his programming - I met him and he is passionate about making his program get the most for his athletes. This guys was a professional Triathlete for a number of years so has heaps of cred in my opinion.
3.He is inspired by OPTs programming which I always admired but never felt comfortable following.
4.Rosko's program seeks intensity as defined by time taken(average power), unbroken sets(periods of high power output followed by rest - interval training)and uses some proven strength and conditioning concepts like linear progression in strength an O lifts as well as Tempo training and super sets.
5.Unlike .com I like that the programmer is going to read the results I post to comments and be able to critique the WOD I did.
Check out Rosko's great WODs here. and reading them in conjunction with OPTs FAQ may help.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
This Sunday I have a plan kick off at 3PM -
Firstly movement prep : Dynamic ROM drills to get us ready to attack a session I am hoping everyone can contribute a favourite of their own..
Secondly Press comp : 3 attempts of max load over head with strict press
Last Metcon Race : 10 reps strict Pull ups,
10 rounds of;
- 1 Turkish get up Right hand
- 1 Bottom to Bottom Burpee
- 1 Turkish get up Left hand
- 1 Bottom to Bottom Burpee
10 reps strict Pull Ups
Using a 16kg KB so if you could bring a 16 if you have one that would be cool as I only have 2 if you are bringing someone who goes lighter I only have one 12 and one 8.
Finish up with stretching and foam rolling and talking it up.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The amount of fish oil taken will, as usual, depend entirely on the individual's goals. By the way- when I refer to the amount of fish oil I mean EPA/DHA combined, meaning for the usual 1000mg fish oil tablet that contains 180mg EPA/120mg DHA this equals 300mg fish oil. Higher potency tablets or purified fish oil contains more EPA/DHA per 1000mg. The benefits of fish oil are well documented, and here is a good summery of a lot of study's from Pub Med.
For an overweight person on the average modern diet with metabolic syndrome may need to take upwards of around 10g fish oil per day (that’s around 33 standard tablets). This is purely from anecdotal clinical experience from the likes of Robb Wolf, Loren Cordain and others. This doesn’t mean it has no basis; 1000's of successful patients in place of clinical trials of this sort are a pretty good bet. This would have to be done at least over a few months to make a real difference to metabolism. The half-life or turn-over of N-6 fats in the cell is around 18-24 months, so permanent change in fat ratio, cell structure and metabolism can take a while. Some people may experience slight GI side effects from such large doses and so have to tone that down until they reach a point were symptoms disappear.
For a lean athlete with no signs of insulin resistance or other metabolic problems, a dose of 1-3g daily can be sufficient as a maintenance dose. This can be upped a few grams if suffering an injury or inflammatory condition. Dose also requires N-6 intake to be under tight control, as intake will compete for metabolism and storage in the cells against N-3. If you are not quite following paleo to the letter and your N-6 intake is a little high, you will need to increase fish oil intake to compensate.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I though I would post to get a few things out in the air about Sunday workouts at my place:
1. If you come it is to do a workout with some cool people chill out and then talk shit(I live for two way discussion on training and exercise - there is no right or wrong only different in my opinion).
2. It is not a structured class - I will decide the WOD but warming up and working weaknesses after is a free for all if you want to try something let me know my toys are there to be played with.
3. Most importantly don't spoil the fun of it for anyone else, it is not a structured class, crew may cheat - hang shit on them if you think you can do it in a friendly way, or help them out if they ask you to.
So basically there are no trainers/trainees everyone just turns up and has a crack - for FUN :)
These are my rules, not previously laid down so now it is done.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
It will probably be hot! You are warned!
Berry highlighted an excellent post to me found here this is in my/our(taking a bit of liberty here Steve) opinion the way to eat for optimal performance and health if you are a non athlete who does CrossFit because he/she enjoys the competition and wants to stay fit and healthy.
Now we just need a similar post from Steve showing what he eats in Tvl to achieve the same effect.
See yall tomorrow :)
Friday, October 9, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I am feeling pretty good again and I think I owe a fair chunk of it to foam rolling my ITBs - holy shit that is a painful process but I feel awesome for it.
Did an easy session today Warmed up then did Dead Front Squat singles (as per video of someone else doing it!) 80kg three times preceded by 77.5,75,72.5 and 70kg so a 7 x 1.
Then after a bit of a rest I did a light DB Isabel (17.5kg DBs) 3:01
Now some more foam rolling!!
Monday, October 5, 2009
The intricate details of eicosanoid production and use aren’t perfectly understood, and Sears (of the Zone) version is slightly different to others I have seen. Basically: When N-6 and N-3 fats are digested and absorbed, they are metabolised into GLA for N-6 and EPA for N-3, then stored in the membranes of all cells (the process is a little more complicated but that’s the gist of it anyway). The proportion in the membrane is roughly equal to the proportion in long term diet. So when the body needs eicosanoids it liberates the activated acids and metabolises them further, but the enzymes used do not distinguish between N-6 and N-3, so proportion in the cell will determine which eicosanoids are made. N-3 can offset production of GLA into arachidonic acid (AA) by competing for the same enzyme system. Eicosanoid family's include Prosataglandins (PG), Prostcyclins (PGI), Thromboxanes (TxA), and Leukotrienes (LT). Some of these are made using the cyclooxygenase (COX) metabolic pathway. These have varying actions and interactions, some of which are directly opposing and/or suppressing. AA eicosanoids such as TxA-2 and PGE-2 are predominantly 'bad', promoting vasodilation, platelet aggregation, inflammation, cellular proliferation and immune depressing. 'Good' eicosanoids are the opposite, while a lot of those from EPA (N-3 derived) are essentially neutral or involved in long term healing.
So balance of these two Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's) is, well, essential. N-3 supplementation through fish oil can help balance this out. Problem is that it seems that at a certain level of intake, tissue 'saturation' of N-6 can occur, meaning that once past a certain threshold of calories as N-6, intake over and above this does little to affect cell membrane levels. This means that as AA in the cell increases, EPA and DHA decrease proportionally. Increasing N-3 can help but it would seem that reducing N-6 to below 4% calories is more important (ref here).
How does all this relate back to the zone. Well as usual insulin and glucagon have a big influence over the enzyme activity and metabolism of ingested EFA's. Excess insulin stimulates the enzyme systems responsible for the metabolism of DGLA and AA into 'bad' eicosanoids. How can we control insulin? As we have seen, through a low carb diet.
Inflammation can also be controlled easily with paleo. Reducing grains, starch and simple sugars as all are inflammatory, as is the elevated insulin they stimulate. High fructose corn syrup should also be avoided at all costs. Promoting good gut flora through Probiotics and prebiotics supplements when necessary, such as during illness, antibiotic use, excessive toxic load (drugs, alcohol, environmental toxins). Supplements of Vit D, C, Fish oil, K or whichever combination, as well as vegetable antioxidants (from vegetables, der). Reducing total N-6 intake is very important as found above, but this should come naturally on a whole-foods paleo diet. Curcumin, the active constituent in Tumeric (a root herb) can inhibit the COX pathway to reduce inflammation, especially when taken with black pepper to protect its activity during digestion. Saturated fat is also recommended against by the zone diet due to claims of inflammation, but this has not been exclusively proven, especially by the method mentioned by the zone and Sears, claiming toll-like receptors are stimulated by sat' fat, causing inflammation. (ref here, here and here)
Lastly the meal frequency recommended to keep you in the zone is questionable. Claiming that the hormonal and eicosanoid balancing effects are where of after 4-6 hours and you shouldn’t space out meals further than 5 hours, to keep you in the zone. This is very contrary to evidence of traditional cultures fasting for 12-24 hours at a time throughout our evolution, and the physiology of the body shows that we can function perfectly when fasted as we are using fat for fuel and obviously insulin will be low at this time, so I don’t see that as an issue. Snacking all day just constantly stimulates insulin keeping it at a raised level as our body is constantly in digestion mode, even if the meals are zone balanced, that’s still more insulin than not eating at all (especially when as mentioned even 40% is to many carbs for many people and will stimulate even more insulin).
In the end the Zone diet is a great starter for those wanting to square away their diet and improve performance. The benefits of which I don’t believe are restricted to the zone however and can be easily done on a diet from Zone proportions of 40% carb if you are training very high volume/intensity (above and beyond Crossfit 3 - 1 cycle), down to very low carb of 50g/day (this will all depend on your goals and training). Reducing or eliminating vegetable oil from all sources and supp'ing N-3 is vital, in addition to adapting to a reduced carb diet to ensure all metabolic processes are running smoothly. This is where Robb Wolf's motto of quality over quantity wins every time: The benefits of weighing and measuring, blocks, snacking and staying in the zone can be accomplished with quality paleo foods with no measuring. The physiology discussed on the zone lectures with Dr. Sears (in the CF journal recently) is all true, but not just applicable to a diet that follows a 40/30/30 split and good N-6:3 balance. To many cultures follow drastically different (yet all paleo) diets with no sign of the 'silent killer' inflammation or heart disease or diabetes etc... As with any diet, care must be taken to ensure adequate intake of all nutrients, especially when on very low carb, but the health benefits are obvious, with the mountain anecdotal evidence of paleo showing up around Crossfit and all over the net.