Load the Hamstrings: 5/12/2017

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An exercise that surprisingly is advantageous for anyone who wishes to strengthen and lengthen their hamstrings is the Romanian deadlift, or RDL for short. Do you frequently feel pain after you DL, do you fail to maintain a neutral spine? The RDL will help!  Be sure to watch the video below!

The Romanian Deadlift, is an excellent lift for developing strength and muscle mass in the posterior chain. Whether your goal is a great physique, a bigger squat, bigger deadlift, or to run faster and jump higher, the RDL can help get you there.

HEAD AND NECK Proper alignment of the head and neck is critical in the RDL. The chin should be tucked slightly, and the neck in a neutral alignment with the rest of the torso.

CHEST Throughout the entire RDL the chest should be up; do not round your back!

LOW BACK The low back in a resting position should have a slight lordosis. The goal throughout the RDL should be to maintain that optimal curvature. Neutral spine is key as it allows you to really blast the hamstrings and glutes.

KNEES You need about 15-20 degrees of knee flexion from the start. Too much knee flexion and you don’t hit the hamstrings effectively. Too little and it turns into a stiff-leg deadlift.

FEET Your feet should be pointed straight ahead using a hip-width stance, and the weight should be shifted towards the heels.

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Sleep: Get Better At It

Fitness Challenge or no Fitness Challenge, you want to perform your best and be your best, YOU MUST MAKE TIME FOR SLEEP!  So what can we do to get better rest?  Dr. Mercola suggests the following….

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Optimizing Your Sleep Sanctuary

Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. The tiniest glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep.

Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F. Many people keep their homes and particularly their upstairs bedrooms too warm. Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is quite cool, between 60 to 68 degrees. Keeping your room cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep.

Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake.

Reserve your bed for sleeping. If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep, so avoid doing these activities in bed.

Get to bed as early as possible. Your body (particularly your adrenal system) does a majority of its recharging between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. In addition, your gallbladder dumps toxins during this same period. If you are awake, the toxins back up into your liver, which can further disrupt your health.

Don’t change your bedtime. You should go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on the weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.

Establish a bedtime routine. The key is to find something that makes you feel relaxed, then repeat it each night to help you release the tensions of the day.

Don’t drink any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed. This will reduce the likelihood of needing to get up and go to the bathroom, or at least minimize the frequency.

Go to the bathroom right before bed. This will reduce the chances that you’ll wake up to go in the middle of the night.

Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed. This can provide the L-tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production.

Also eat a small piece of fruit. This can help the tryptophan cross your blood-brain barrier.

Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars. These will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep.

Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed. When your body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating slumber. The temperature drop from getting out of the bath signals your body it’s time for bed.

Wear socks to bed. Feet often feel cold before the rest of the body because they have the poorest circulation. A study has shown that wearing socks to bed reduces night waking.

Put your work away at least one hour before bed (preferably two hours or more). This will give your mind a chance to unwind so you can go to sleep feeling calm, not hyped up or anxious about tomorrow’s deadlines.

No TV right before bed. Even better, get the TV out of the bedroom. It’s too stimulating to the brain, preventing you from falling asleep quickly. TV disrupts your pineal gland function.

Listen to relaxation CDs. Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep.

Increase your melatonin. Ideally it is best to increase levels naturally with exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime (along with full spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the winter) and absolute complete darkness at night. If that isn’t possible, you may want to consider a melatonin supplement. In scientific studies, melatonin has been shown to increase sleepiness, help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep, decrease restlessness, and reverse daytime fatigue. Melatonin is a completely natural substance, made by your body, and has many health benefits in addition to sleep.

Reaching Your Anaerobic Threshold: 5/10/2017

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Peak 8 for Max Performance

Peak 8 Interval Training involves exercising and reaching your anaerobic threshold. Anaerobic Threshold defines the upper limit of exercise intensity that can be sustained aerobically. The anaerobic threshold is attained during the more intense exercise we do.

What Makes Peak 8 Work So Well?

When you work fast twitch fiber and your heart muscle anaerobically, your body releases exercise induced growth hormones (HGH). HGH is a foundational, biochemical underpinning that facilitates the body’s natural anabolic processes causing your strength and other training to prosper while effectively burning calories. The best part is, it stays in your body for two hours after work is performed, going directly after body fat.

When you work your heart anaerobically and aerobically, you get great endurance.  A downfall is that endurance comes and goes in as little as two weeks. You can increase your endurance in a short amount of time, but you can also lose it pretty quickly.

Important To Know… 

It is important that your pace is consistent from start to finish.  Peak 8 training calls for 8 Rounds, but this may be less depending on your fitness level, which is ok! You will gain all of the benefits doing the number of intervals your body can handle. For some people this means they begin with just 1 or 2 intervals and working their way up gradually.

Speed Under the Bar: 5/9/2017

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Test and Re-Test, Tuesday brings us to a throwback WOD from November 10, 2016. Not one finisher, will we have one this time through???

As more and more are spending time getting those Extra Work points, take a look at what is in store for Tuesday….

Working on SPEED under the bar and LOCKING your shoulders out quickly, Tuesday’s extra work will include work with the Drop Snatch and Snatch Balance. It is important to know the difference between the two…  The Snatch Drop is driving downward and dropping under the bar while the Snatch Balance includes a bit of a drive and pop allowing you to add a bit more weight on the bar.

Running Endurance: 5/9 & 5/13

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8 Big Points up for grabs!  There’s no rain drops (yet) showing for Tuesday or Saturday so lace up and join us!  Tuesday 5:30pm & Saturday 8:00am

LUSTER

RX Level 1
200m at fast pace 200m run
200m at easy pace 200m walk [fast walk]
Rest: 15sec Rest: 15sec
200m at fast pace 200m run
200m at easy pace 200m walk [fast walk]
Rest: 15sec Rest: 15sec
200m at fast pace 200m run
200m at easy pace 200m walk [fast walk]
400m at fast pace 400m run
200m at easy pace 200m walk [fast walk]
Rest: 15sec Rest: 15sec
800m at fast pace 800m run
200m at easy pace 200m walk [fast walk]
Rest: 15sec Rest: 15sec
DONE!!
Total: 3400m

 

 

 

Row Row Row: 5/8/2017

What a perfect time to perfect your row!  As you are racking up the calories earning your team points this week, PLEASE, take this time to perfect your row!  YOU WILL BE THANKFUL when you finally learn to make those meters and calories soar, without completely exhausting yourself. In this article provided by WOD Nation, we explore Common Faults and Corrections.  

*Don’t forget to get your week 1 Fitness Scores in HERE

When people get on a rower they want to make it feel hard. They want to be validated that they are in fact doing work. They want to feel load behind that handle as quickly as possible. Those desires are all admirable, but making it feel hard isn’t the point. In fact, making it feel hard is messing up your row.

Fault 1: Early Arm Bend.

Same rules that apply in the Olympic lifts apply to the row: when your arms bend, your power ends. It’s why we wait until after our hips have fully extended to pull ourselves underneath the bar. The moment you bend your arms you disconnect that clean line of energy and your lift will not be as powerful. Same thing with your rowing stroke. If you bend your arms at the catch your stoke will not generate the same power than if you wait until your legs extend.

Practice Patience. Your arms should stay straight, you should hang on that handle like you would a barbell until your legs extend. Then, and only then do you bend your arms.

But remember: do less. Do less, means being patient in bending your arms, but it also means don’t yank that handle into your body by pulling like a mad human when your legs extend. Do less. Let the resistance on the chain get lighter. It should get lighter throughout the progression of the stroke.

 

Fault 2: Opening Your Back at the Catch.

By opening up your back, by swinging your shoulders behind your hips before your legs have extended, you’re hijacking potential power from your legs, just like bending your arms early. You’re also putting your back in a decidedly not good position, as all the power or your stroke gets concentrated into your low back (if your back hurts when you row this is probably why.)

If I were to give you one global hint on how to make your rowing better it would be: don’t make it look like work.

Make it look easy.

Do less.


 

 

Increase Strength Through Mobility: 5/5/2017

Mobilizing Is A Must

Flexibility is a primary element of strength. Bad mobility reinforces inefficient mechanics; inefficient mechanics hinder strength development. If you want to reap the benefits of the front squat, then mobilize regularly and enjoy the rewards.

Straight from MobilityWOD, Kelly Starrett puts forth a comprehensive guide to improving positioning so that the front squat can be optimized.

Here we look at what the problem may be and how to solve it…..

  • thoracic extension
  • shoulder position
  • wrist flexibiliy

Mystery WOD: 5/4/2017

You get one clue for our Thursday WOD….  Some will know it, others will not, but soon, they won’t forget it….  Thursday brings our first Team Challenge WOD.  No, you will not be working as a Team, however, the more Team members that show up representing their Team the more points you will get for the week!

Yes, Thursday is still bring a friend day, and yes, you can still come to class even though you are not participating in the Fitness and Nutrition Challenge!  It’s a good one, don’t miss it!

And your clue…..

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Food For Thought: 5/3/2017

As you are embarking on our Fitness & Nutrition Challenge, keep in mind the top reasons why most fail at the Paleo Lifestyle….  For those of you here for Wednesday CrossFit info, we will be working on the Rope and Pull-Ups.

Why You’re Not Succeeding On The Paleo Diet….

Courtesy of Paleo Leap 

Too Much Nuts or Nut butter…

While they are natural, nuts and seeds can still be irritating to the gut and most of them have a bad fatty-acid profile. If you are struggling with your health or weight,  your consumption of most nuts and seeds should be limited. Just because things are Paleo, doesn’t mean we should be eating them by the handfuls.

Not Enough Carbs….

Sweet potatoA whole lot of people who embark on a Paleo diet become very carb-phobic and associate carbohydrates with instant fat gain. We have to keep in mind that fat gain is much more complicated than that and that we are well adapted to function on carbs or fat for energy. Limiting the amounts of carbs consumed by too much can lead to intense cravings and binging on unhealthy foods. Carbohydrates in general shouldn’t be feared, carbohydrates from toxic sources like grains, legumes and refined sugar should.

Coconut oilNot Enough Fat….

Modern science shows us that saturated fat is a great source of clean and non-toxic energy while too much lean protein can be a problem. Some people limit both fat and carbohydrate consumption, our two primary fuel sources, and either consume much more lean protein or consume less calories overall. For those who end up consuming too few calories, constant hunger is often felt and the energy levels usually plummet. Eat away at that healthy natural saturated fat and those sources of non-toxic carbohydrates.

Not Enough Nutritious Foods (nutrient deficiencies)

This simply means that chicken and vegetables day in and day out is not going to cut it. You should strive to frequently eat foods such as meat from grass-fed ruminants, fresh wild-caught fish, homemade stock, fermented vegetables, seafood, organs like liver and bone marrow and a good variety of fresh vegetables.

StrawberryToo Much Fruit…

Fruits are certainly natural, but most of them are loaded with fructose, which becomes toxic when consumed in high amounts. Just because many fruits are loaded with vitamin C, potassium, fiber and many natural anti-oxidant doesn’t mean that the fructose in them is less toxic. A few pieces of fruit per day shouldn’t be a problem at all, but over-doing it could be the reason why so many fail to lose the desired weight even on a Paleo diet.

Not Fully Committing…

Someone that cheats frequently has not even allowed their body to dispose of all toxins; thus, they have yet to achieve their optimal state. So for those of you still questioning how you are feeling on the diet, if the results aren’t at their best it could well be because you are preventing that from happening by not fully committing to the diet changes. Cheating and eating less desirable foods can be perfectly fine when done from on an infrequent basis, but I strongly recommend to people who first commit to the diet to do it fully for at least the first 30 days to let their body a chance to get rid of the bulk of the toxins and get nourished by the much more nutritious foods of Paleo.

What Are You Eating: 5/2/2017

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If the above photo looks like what you’re planning on surviving on over the course of the next 6 weeks, then let me tell you now, you will not be successful.  The Paleo diet is NOT intended to deprive you of food, but instead, teach you how to eat ‘real’ food, free of preservatives, artificial ingredients and SUGAR!  There is tons of information out there on food ideas, take the time to search!  Pinterest is a great start as well as this 21 day meal plan on  Paleo Hacks. Now doesn’t the food below look much better?!

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Time to Squat

One of the biggest flaws when performing the squat is being quad dominate and losing out on the power of your glutes!  If your buns aren’t sore after squat day, then you are certainly missing out!  The video below is a bit lengthy, but lots of great information is there.  Sip on your coffee, play it on your morning commute or play while eating your lunch.  Worth the watch!

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