Why you should try CrossFit

Why you should try CrossFit

I’m not going to pretend like I love CrossFit, I also like in line roller skates too. I am not one of those people who particularly enjoys working out. However, it is necessary evil that must be done. I currently workout for 6 days a week, for 1 hour and 30 minutes per day. That type of regimen wears on the body, and I had to find a way to get flexibility, and cardio training back into my workouts. Given those circumstances, CrossFit just makes since. I typically do CrossFit two times a week: on the first and last day of my workout week, at the end of a short workout. Typically, CrossFit routines take at most 30 minutes, depending on rest time.

From the CrossFit website it is described as a “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement” exercise program.  Depending on your access to equipment a CrossFit routine (Workout of the Day, or WOD) can vary from rowing, jumping rope, rope climbing, and etc. However the best part about CrossFit is that it can be done without equipment, meaning that you can do it in the privacy of your own home. However, if you are feeling more advantageous, and really want to step up your cardio training, you should find a CrossFit gym.

The only way you can decide if CrossFit will be the right fit for your cardio training is to try it out. I do my WOD’s muscle group specific: Day 1 is Upper Body, and Day 6 is Lower Body. Here’s a quick workout tip, plan your CrossFit exercises so you can still lift the next day. The first time I did CrossFit, the next day I went to the gym. I was almost useless, because I did a full boy WOD. But that is how I knew it worked.

Pictures of CrossFit

I’ve talked quite a bit about CrossFit, but you probably came here for a beginner’s WOD.
WOD For Upper Body
6-8 reps per exercise do the WOD a total of 4 times with only 20s of rest.
Begin standing. Drop to the pushup position, do one push up, bring your knees to your chest and explode upwards. Jumping into the air. Land. Repeat.

Handstand Push-up
Use the wall, place your feet above your head as if you are doing a handstand. Lower your body down, until your elbows make a 90 degree angle and push back up.

Overhead Arm Clap (do 20 reps)
Extend your arms so they are parallel to the ground. Place your palms skyward, and raise your hands above your head until the clap. Repeat, this motion making sure your arms never drop below your shoulders.

Explosive Pushup
Get into the pushup position, as slowly lower your body, until your chest touches the ground. Once your chest touches the ground, push your body up as fast as possible. So your hands leave the ground. Repeat.

Oblique Crunches (20 reps)
Begin by getting into the crunch position. Instead of going straight up, alternate sides by placing your opposite elbow on your opposite knee. Right elbow to left knee, left elbow to right knee.

in line roller skates girls with crossfit
Planks (20s x 4)
Begin in the pushup position, and hold it.

This is a beginner’s WOD, it should not be too challenging. Workout tip: Do not bite off more than you can chew when starting to workout. Strength, endurance, and flexibility will come with time. Working out requires a faithful attitude, and consistent exercise to get the results you are looking for. Final workout tip: when in doubt, chillout. Take a breather if necessary, and you should always consult a physician before beginning a new exercise regimen.


Break The Ice: Spring Running Tips

The countdown to the winter thaw is getting close, and you’re probably itching to get out there and breathe some warm air. There are two different schools of thought when talking about winter running: long distance slow paced running, or long warm-ups with medium distance and quick paced running. Now the advantages and downfalls of both are pretty comparable. It is one of those running fitness tips, that aren’t really fitness tips. Where it is just do what feels best, and train to fix the downfals. But the spring is a great time to trail run, and pretty much any type of running. So lets get you started off this spring right.

 Spring Running Tips

Long vs Short
Just in case you didn’t know the two schools of thought on winter running, here they are quickly explained.

Long Winter Running
Long winter running helps your cardiovascular system sustain longer. Your body wil become use to less air, and when given the opportunity for more will preform better.

Setting a great aerobic base for the spring training season.
More Lung capacity

Lots of running the cold means more prone to injury.

Short winter running helps your muscles get stronger, because they are using less oxygen to do work. Your muscles learn how to become more efficient with less. Staying out of the cold, saves your joints and bones from being constantly contracted and constricted.

Fast running, eventually means faster times.

You will lose some of your aerobic base, and gain leg muscle. So you will be running faster, but heavier.

Early Spring Running Fitness Tips:

1.) Your warm ups will be shorter, but be sure to mind your pace. After running all winter you will notice that key to your best workouts is a long efficient warm up. The idea is that your body needs more time to get its ideal running temperature. But when the thaw starts to happen your body will require far less time, meaning you will want to start running faster earlier. Do not do this on long runs, be take advantage of this for your tempo workouts. With long runs you will probably start to experience overexertion, you’ll be pushing your legs harder for more mileage in a shorter time. But with speed drills the emphasis is blasting your leg muscles. Over exertion for short distances is the key.

2.) An early spring running fitness tip would be nothing without the mention of allergies. I am of the group who subscribes to chloraseptic and nasal spray. I use the chloraseptic spray to keep my throat from feeling rough late in the run, and nasal spray to help with decongestion. Over the counter allergy medication thins blood and elevates heartbeat.

3.) Ditch the shoes. Spring is good time to set yourself on a better shoe cycle. You are supposed to change your shoes about every three months, if you start now your shoe change will be seasonal.
Spring’s Top Workout
Yasso 800’s: Is just the workout to get your legs churning and drop your marathon times. The idea is that the time you can finish the workout at will be your marathon time. So for instance if you run a 2min and 40sec 800 your marathon will be 2hours and 40min.

Twice a week for three months before race day.
Week 1: 4 x 800’s
Week 2: 5×800’s
Week 3: 6×800’s
week 4-11: 7×800’s

Do You Even Lift? Introduction to Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding is the process of manufacturing your body: it is refinement through growth. When starting bodybuilding there are many factors that you should consider and approaches to take. This series of body building tips will incorporate an multi stage approach, that can be likened to an ebb and flow process. Where once a plateau is reached, the maximum gain regiment will switch to an aerobic fitness plan. The ultimate goal of this process is too increase the maximum gain, by reducing the minimum threshold. If you can imagine your hands on a flat surface, in the vertical position, and your “pinky” finger is on the table. In this scenario your left hand is the minimum and your right hand is the maximum; and, the ultimate goal is reduce the distance in between them; while pushing the right hand further away. Ideally, what you are doing is making your average higher; eventually making your average better than most people’s best. So this regiment, that has not be named, is a way to gain mass strength and size, with cut and chisel. Cut and chisel can be surmised as “tone.”

Introduction to Bodybuilding

The process works best as a cycle, and has two phases a grow and cut phase. In the grow phase your primary focus is bodybuilding in the common sense of the word. You are just going to be putting on muscle through a strict an aerobic regiment. Every exercise will be focused on increasing maxes, and the fitness plan will include primarily plyometrics, and Olympic style lifting. (Some people tell me that roller skating is one of the most popular exercises for women to icrease muscle. I don’t think so)

Like I said the cycle is broken down into two phases, which have been named: Grow and Cut.

Grow Phase:
Bodybuilding as we know it, but more like strengthening your muscles. If you are unfamiliar with weightlifting then, the weights you are going to be the barbells, straight bars, dumbbells, and the cable machine. Of course there are variables, you will use machines that incorporate barbells.  The ultimate goal is growth of any type, and the way to chart and keep track of growth is through understanding your max weight/repetition.

Cut Phase:
Refinement and toning are the keywords during this phase.

Max weight/repetition
Maximum weight is the amount of weight that a specific muscle* can move.
*When I say specific muscle you have to start thinking about your legs as a muscle group made up of thirty one different pieces, and that the better you are exercising each piece, the more total gain you’ll have.

Max repetition is the amount times a specific muscle can move a specific weight. Your “max,” refers to the maximum weight you can lift one time.

Together, your goal is to outmatch everyone else’s max. The NFL combine uses 225 pounds as weight that measures muscle endurance, as an acceptable average weight for all NFL players to lift. This will cycle will use your own body weight as the measure of a complete revolution. And it has to be broken down by muscle groups, but more specifically exercises. The ultimate goal is to increase your all around level of fitness.

That is all for the introduction. I have explained the nuances of the system, what the cut and grow phases are, defined “max,” and I hope you will go to the next section where the grow phase will be defined better.

Lightning off to a rocky start

Lightning off to a rocky startIt’s not really a shocker if you think about how the Bolts have started the season. They’ve had a huge turnover everywhere in the organization. New coach, new ownership and management, new players, etc.. It’s been nice to see them shaking it all of fairly quick though. After going winless in their first five games (two of which were in Prague), they have gotten even in the standings by winning three of their last four for a 3-3-3 record. I haven’t been able to watch to much of them yet to make any real judgements but it appears that the goaltending has improved, the defense is still a work in progress and the offense hasn’t come together yet either.

The only thing I can figure at the moment is that Barry Melrose and company are still trying to find the right pieces to fill out the team. The most important thing for The Mullet is to get the guys to buy into what he’s selling and the few early moves we’ve seen make me think he’s still trying to find the right pieces. I’ll be sitting down to watch some of the Bolts’ games that I’ve recorded to try to get a beat on the direction this team is headed. I’m still skeptical of Melrose but look at what Maddon accomplished with the Rays and you can see that anything is possible.

Let’s talk some NBA

Let’s talk some NBA

The finals have been good on both ends this year and there has been a lot of discussion and debate over a lot of crap. I think it’s time for me to toss my opinions out there on the whole thing and I really don’t care what anyone thinks. I’ll start with the Lebron/Kobe debate.

Kobe is still better than Lebron for one reason. He is a closer.  In my opinion, there is way too much talk about sharing the ball, game ending shots and officiating in these games. The thing that still stands out to me is this. Kobe finishes games like Lebron doesn’t right now. The ball sharing argument is stupid to me because of this. When it is time to finish off a game, you’re best player needs to do it. Kobe shares the ball early in the game but in the last couple minutes, when it matters, he has it and finishes things off. Lebron doesn’t finish games this way. He is still looking to dish the ball even though he is rolling right through the lane and that is a sign of a guy who doesn’t think he can do it. He hit the big three at the end of game 2, but he should have taken charge of that game way before that. Jordan, Bird, Magic, and Kobe have all done that consistently. Win or lose, you die with your star in the NBA. There are occasions where someone else MUST take the shot because the defense takes you out, but there shouldn’t be so much doubt with a guy like Lebron.

Now I’ll talk about the Magic. They are better than I thought behind guys I didn’t think would do it. First off, Rashard Lewis is way tougher than I ever thought and it’s time for me to bow down to him and take back every negative thing I’ve said about him. He has shown some serious nads on both ends of the floor that warrant some major ass-kissing. Without Lewis this team isn’t here.

Next up is Rafer Alston. Alston has shown some cold-blooded toughness that I think most of us didn’t think he had. I went back and realized that he has done this before with Houston and understand now that I underestimated him beyond belief.

Mickael Pietrus is an animal. There may be no bigger free-agent signing when it is all said and done than this guy. He has been great on both sides of the floor in the playoffs and has now made himself invaluable to this team.

Time to dog guys out now. Dwight Howard has shown no inside offensive game and is proving to be a young guy looking to find himself. With his size you would expect him to overpower people in a Shaq-like manner, but no. With his athleticism you would expect quicker less clumsy moves in the paint, but no. He has done decent on the defensive end but has been getting into foul trouble and losing his head too much. I expected a lot more from Dwight in this series against Lebron, but haven’t gotten it.

Hedo Turkoglu has proven that it’s not necessary to bring him back. Most, including myself, have made a lot of Turk’s ability to be the man in the fourth quarter for the Magic and that he is needed to make this offense work. He has proven in the playoffs that it is Lewis and not himself that is the most vital cog in the Orlando offense. His low FG% will always be over played because of the role he plays in the offense, but his poor decisions and turnovers late can’t be overlooked in the playoffs. He is flopping and complaining too much at the end of games, taking too many poor shots and not working the middle the way he should be. Thank god Rashard Lewis can make clutch three’s at the  end of these games or the Magic wouldn’t be where they are.

The bottom line with these NBA playoffs to me is this. The Nuggets and the Magic are the two best teams left even though it’s closer than made out. The Lakers will beat the Nuggets because Kobe can finish. The Magic will beat the Cavs because Lebron can’t. The Magic match up better against the both the Cavs and the Lakers so I will predict the Magic winning the title. It won’t surprise me if the Lakers win because of the Kobe factor, but I would be shocked to see the Cavs or the Nuggets come back.

The NBA is a strange world but I do think the Magic take the trophy home. It’s not a homer thing either, I just feel them doing it.