Join Coach Heidi today for the unknown and unknowable.
We start our September Beyond the Whiteboard Level UP Fitness Challenge today. For the entire month of September we have programmed workouts that count toward your BTWB Fitness Level.
If you can do the workout as prescribed it counts. Don't worry! There are plenty of workouts that everyone can do as Rx'd. All of the powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, speed and, endurance can be Rx'd by everyone. Many of the bodyweight workouts, e.g. 50 burpees for time, can also be done RX by everyone.
If you can't, yet, do it Rx'd, don't worry, it just won't count toward your Fitness Level and therefore will not affect your score at all. It's all good!
Get ready to run today!
Woohooo! It's Foodie Friday and it's a long holiday weekend. Remember, we have only one class on Monday with Coach Zach at 10:30 AM. We are doing the Hero Workout Josie.
It's super common on summer holiday weekends, like Labor Day, to drink and eat more than normal. Why not? We're having fun, celebrating the end of summer, and winter is coming. We better drink up. The problem is, that it's super easy to take five giant steps back with a weekend of heavy drinking.
Alcohol is a pervasive cultural vice and one that many of us can easily over consume. I just read this very interesting blog post from Precision Nutrition on drinking and it's impact on health, fitness and performance. I was (well, perhaps I wasn't really) surprised to see how easily I can go from a moderate to heavy drinker. According to the United States Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, “moderate drinking” means, on average:
More importantly, that heavy drinking takes a heavy toll on my health. I've read that it takes an average 10 hours for the liver to process the alcohol in ONE drink. So, if I drink every day, my liver is primarily busy metabolizing alcohol and not prioritizing other functions, like helping my body utilize stored fat for energy. That's why it's nearly IMPOSSIBLE to lose weight if you're a moderate drinker. Any sort of fat burning is put on hold while your liver puts out this toxin-entry fire that has been created. So, if you go out and have 4 glasses of wine, or 4 beers, or 4 of anything, that’s forty hours that your fat burning abilities are on hold. You're not losing that belly jiggle any time soon.
So how can you tell if you're drikning too much? Check out this handy infographic from Precision Nutrition.
So enjoy your long holiday weekend. Drink up if that's your thing. Just be totally aware of the consequences of your choices.
If you want to celebrate, but don't want to imbibe, Click on the image below for a few great strategies and recipes for non-alcoholic drinks.
Jeremy does a split snatch. He has more than doubled his Fitness Level in the past year.
We coaches get asked frequently how long it will take someone to do something as prescribed. Or how long it will take to improve in CrossFit. Our answer is always, "It depends." Not satisfying, we know.
It really does depend though. It depends on your current level of conditioning, it depends on how consistently you attend classes, it depends on how much extra work you put towards skill development by taking specialty seminars, skill sessions or private training. It depends on how well you eat, how well you recover, how many hours you sleep. It depends on your lifestyle.
However, our good friends at Beyond the Whiteboard, who are data geeks like us, have crunched the numbers for us. They looked at Fitness Level data from over 65,000 athletes over the past 6 years and analyzed it to see how long it takes to increase your Fitness Level. They found, on average, it takes 5-6 months of consistent CrossFit to improve your Fitness Level by 10 points.
Well, we are going to test that! Starting in September we are having a contest to see who can raise their fitness level the most points. We have programmed 30 BTWB Fitness Level workouts and we will compare your fitness score from tomorrow to your score on September 30. Whoever gains the most points will win a prize.
Of course, you need to be able to do the Fitness Level workouts as prescribed. All of the Speed, Power Lifts, Olympic Lifts and Endurance workouts can be performed as prescribed by everyone. We will do all three of the Olympic weightlifting and all three Power Lifting workouts, we are doing Bodyweight, Light, Long, Speed, Endurance (you'll get to do more if you attend Wednesday 5:30pm class) and Heavy workouts. We choose workouts that the majority of our athletes can do as prescribed.
Many of the Bodyweight workouts such as 100 sit-ups or 100 burpees for time, 2, 3 or 5 min max reps double unders, can be done by most people. Even if you get ONE double under in that time you still did it as prescribed. It all counts and it starts this Saturday. Good luck!
Joaquin, James and Red Feather row hard during our April Festivus Games.
Homegrown Paleo - Compost Happens
I love it when people seek my advice on how to establish a landscape or garden. It gives me the opportunity to help at the ground level and advise them on proper soil preparation. My advice? Add compost.
Technically speaking, composting is a process that results in a product called humus. This happens through the microbial decomposition of organic material into a nutrient-rich and fertile soil amendment. Not only does compost provide innumerable benefits to your plants and landscape, it’s also free to make and reduces the amount of green waste sent to the local landfill.
Many people have the misconception that composting is messy, smelly and attracts vermin. This is not true. When done correctly, composting is easy and results in vigorous plants and bountiful garden crops. It is probably the most valuable thing you can do for your yard.
The basic compost recipe is equal parts of green material and brown material, plus a little soil, water and air. Green material includes fresh organic waste, such as grass clippings, deadheaded flowers and kitchen scraps. Brown material is dried or dead organic waste, such as fallen leaves, dried grass, pruned wood, shredded newspaper or cardboard. Never add meat scraps, pet waste, weeds with seeds, or diseased materials to your compost pile. All materials you add should be less than 2 inches in size so that it will break down quickly.
Select a location for your compost pile that is tucked away somewhere in your yard, or simply build it where you eventually want to build your garden. Make sure the area you select gets about six hours of sunlight each day. You can heap all of the material together in a loose pile, construct a simple bin, or purchase a commercially made compost bin.
Once you have found a place for your composting venture, it’s time to pile up your green and brown materials. It should be at least 3 feet to 4 feet square. About every foot, add an inch or two of soil, which will supply microbes to decompose the organic matter. Add water as you go. The microbes need water and air in order to get to work, so keep the compost pile wet, but not soggy. It should be about as damp as a wrung-out sponge. If it is too wet, the process will switch from aerobic to anaerobic decomposition, and the pile WILL smell.
Air is the final ingredient and is added to the recipe by turning your pile. Let the pile sit for about two days and then check the temperature. You can poke your hand into the middle of the pile, or use a thermometer. Once the internal temperature is about 160 F, it is time to turn it. This will aerate the pile, but decrease the temperature. Continue to monitor the heat, and turn the pile again when it reaches 160 F. If you continue turning the pile every time it heats back up to 160 F, you should have usable humus in about two or three weeks. It is important to not add any new materials if you are actively turning your pile.
Alternatively, you can just leave the pile sit, and not turn it. The composting will still take place, but much more passively. It will take more time – sometime up to a year – but will not require as much effort by you. Either way, you will enjoy seeing your plants thrive as your compost does its magic in your soil.
This is a reprint of an article I wrote when I was the commercial horticulture program coordinator for the western area of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. For more specific gardening and horticulture advice be sure to visit your local Cooperative Extension office.
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