Sunday, March 23, 2014

Monday 3-24-14

AMRAP 12 min
15 Alternating Dumbbell Snatches [75#/55#]
200 M Run

   * Dumbbell weights should be heavy, but you are able to alternate 15 reps without much pause or rest.


EMOM 10 Min
20 Seconds (cumulative) L-Sit on parralletes.

   * feet out in front of you, arms locked out in support.  once feet touch ground your time stops.  Goal is to get 20 seconds total L-Sit per min.  The faster you cumulate 20 seconds, the more rest per round you get.

Many CrossFit athletes do not eat enough carbohydrates. Are you one of them? How might this be impacting your life? 
     By Bryan Boorstein Owner of CrossFit Pacific Beach and Wes Piatt's Coach.

When do you feel most “energetic” and “mentally clear” throughout the day?
The majority of athletes with whom I converse, say that it takes a few hours to “get going” in the morning. Maybe you wake up in a fog, maybe energy is a bit low, and maybe you depend on coffee to get that extra boost in the AM. This seems pretty “normal” by most standards, but is it? Stay tuned…
Do you find that you get a “second wind” later in the day (maybe early evening) and feel great at night? Does this create difficulty falling asleep as the mind turns, and a whirlwind of thoughts swirl around in your brain?
The majority of people that feel foggy in the morning will also find that they can relate to the above sentiments. This may seem “normal” because so many people suffer from this same detriment. However, this is not ideal - it’s a manifestation of some serious hormonal dysfunctions in the body. Stay tuned…
Do you find that you lack motivation to get yourself to the gym? Maybe you aren’t super excited to attack the WOD, but you regularly feel fantastic once it’s over? Do you ever CRAVE that exercise-induced endorphin rush to feel great?
Once again, this may seem NORMAL. In fact, it’s a sentiment that is promoted in the mainstream media as a reason to begin exercise. While exercise will inevitably make you feel great, you should not DEPEND on exercise to feel great, or to break out of a mental funk.
What does this all mean? All of this stuff relates to specific hormones in our bodies. Many of these hormones are effected by excessive exercise (overtraining) and/or nutritional components (carbohydrate intake), sleep patterns (lack of), lifestyle components (stress, anxiety) etc...
So, how should we function optimally? What hormones are effecting the way we feel on a daily basis?
Cortisol – This hormone regulates our “fight or flight” response. Going way back, to the Paleolithic days, early Homo Sapiens would wake up with one goal in mind: find food. This required them to wake up, immediately engage in physical activity and be mentally alert. In the relative ease of our 2014 lifestyles, many of these innate characteristics that have defined us for a million years are now lost.
In perfect hormonal balance, Cortisol is at its peak as soon as you wake up. Cortisol will progressively decline throughout the day, until bed time, at which point it should be completely depleted, signaling the need to go to sleep. Then it will regenerate through the slumber, and once the supply is full, this will signal the body to wake up (without an alarm). Unfortunately, in most people, this process is all skewed. We wake up tired and find energy increases throughout the day, then we “decide” to go to sleep, based on a nominal time.
Testosterone – Prevalent in both men and women, but substantially more dominant in men. Testosterone is responsible for consistent energy throughout the day, aggression (vital in lifting weights), sense of well-being, fat-loss, muscle-gain, and libido, among others. Low Testosterone is a result of over-training (CNS fatigue), improper nutrition for recovery, as well as other lifestyle factors (lack of quality sleep etc…).
Adrenal Hormones – The adrenals are vital to proper daily function. All of these hormones are inter-related and affect each other. Many factors can cause adrenal fatigue: Intense mixed-modal training (CrossFit) in the absence of being properly fueled (nutrition) is the primary culprit. The state of having adrenal dysfunction is called “adrenal fatigue,” and takes a LONG TIME to fully recover (if ever). Generally, adrenal fatigue will occur in unison with Cortisol and Testosterone issues.
How can we ensure that we avoid becoming a victim of these prevalent hormonal issues?
Nutrition – Carbohydrate intake is vital for an athlete training intensely with mixed modal work. In many circumstances, doing nothing except increasing carb intake can positively influence all of these hormones. The “Paleo” diet is a fantastic diet for an inactive human, because the sedentary lifestyle doesn’t require Glycogen (stored carbs) for energy. On the other hand, the active lifestyle requires carbohydrate intake to provide an optimal platform for the function of an “athlete.” Here are some quick fixes you can implement immediately:
  1. Bracket carb/protein intake around your workouts. About 1-2 hours prior to training, try to consume 15% of bodyweight in protein and carb grams, and 5% of bodyweight in fat grams. For a 200 lb athlete, this means the pre-training meal should consist of 30g of protein and 30g of carbs, and 10g of fat (for example, eggs or small serving of animal protein with fruit).

  1. Within 20 minutes of your workout, consume 25% of bodyweight in protein, 50% of bodyweight in carbs, and little to no fat (Fat slows the absorption of the protein/carb mix). So, for the 200 lb athlete, this means 50g of protein, and 100g of carbs. Then, 2 hours after this post-workout feeding, consume a FULL BALANCED MEAL, consisting of protein, carbs (starch), and fat. A perfect example would be grassfed beef, veggies, and rice or potatoes.

  1. Increase carbohydrate intake throughout the day. The major misconception about carbs is that if you eat them and don’t immediately use them, via exercise, they will store as fat. This is true in a sedentary individual, but the body of an athlete is programmed differently. The body is aware of the inherent need for the carbohydrates in future days, because you live a lifestyle that has conditioned the body to this process. Therefore, athletes will store the carbs as Glycogen, to be used the next time you engage in an intense workout.

Sleep, Training, Lifestyle – I am combining these three factors into one category to briefly touch on these areas:
Sleep – Work to get 7-8 hours per night. Sleep in a dark room, and try to go to sleep at the same time, and wake up at the same time each day. Try to get as much sleep at night as possible. Sleeping from 10pm to 6am is substantially better for you than sleeping from 1am to 9am.
Training – Overtraining is the important element to avoid here. You will know that you are teetering on “overtraining” when you begin to lack motivation and feel like training is a task, as opposed to an enjoyable challenge. Don’t chase the endorphin rush. You should have the desire to train, because you feel great and want to expend energy, as opposed to feeling obligated to train. If you find yourself approaching this (called “over-reaching”) you are very close to over-training and would be benefited by just taking the day off from the gym, or by engaging in “Z1” cyclical work. Z1 can be defined as aerobic training that is about the same pace/ease as walking briskly. I prefer to do my Z1 work on an Airdyne at a casual pace (about 50 RPM) for 20-30 minutes, and then follow it up with some mobility work. This flushes out toxins, and prepares the body and mind to train intensely the following day.
Lifestyle Factors – Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole you can do about this. The goal would be to live in a very low stress environment. Stress releases Cortisol, and this negatively affects the balance we are trying to create (the depletion of Cortisol throughout the day). You cannot control whether your boss yells at you, or whether an element of surprise is introduced into your day. However, you can control how you respond to this stress. This is all about individual growth and the process of intrinsic realization. Strive to learn how to handle stress and anxiety more effectively.  

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