Thank You CrossFit

 
I’ve been using and enjoying two new photo apps, Google Photos and Carousel from Dropbox. Both are amazing and worth checking out. 

Carousel pops up with occasional throwback pics and yesterday it sent me the picture on the left. AKA the ‘before’ picture. All I can say is that I never want to be that before picture again!!!!!

It would be very difficult for me to say my transformation was from a lot of hard hard work and dedication because if I’m being honest, it doesn’t feel that way. I’ve had so much fun, met so many great people and I’ve enjoyed every step of my journey with CrossFit. 

It’s almost like I’m cheating. No one ever told me working out could be fun. I got to discover that for myself. I still have days that I don’t feel like going in, or that I want to just hit snooze and roll over. There are some hard moments of weakness. But once I get my butt up and to the box, all that transforms into excitement and laughter and genuine good times. 

CrossFit Open 15.5

So 15.3 brought us Muscle Ups

And 15.4 brought us Handstand Push Ups.

CrossFit Games 2015 CrossFit Open 2015

I’m pretty sure CrossFit Open 15.5 is going to bring us rope climbs. Well, maybe not rope climbs. At least I hope not rope climbs.

If 15.5 isn’t 100 rope climbs for time, here’s what I think it will be.

15.5 will include burpees. It will include something heavy, and it will have a very simple rep scheme.

CrossFit Open 15.5 will be a chipper.

50 Burpee Box Jump Overs 24″/20″
40 Calorie Row
30 Thrusters @ 95 /65
20 Deadlifts @ 275 / 185
10 Muscle Ups

I think there will be no time cap. So when you get to the muscle ups, if you don’t have them, you won’t be able to submit a score.

 

Beginner CrossFit Workouts

It’s the new year, and you are looking to start a small journey that will have a tremendous impact on just about everything you do. You want to have more energy, think more clearly, significantly reduce the risk of countless diseases, and significantly increase the likelihood of your ability to pick up your great grandchildren someday…. so of course you are looking to start CrossFit!!

Crossfit Hyperfit Kettlebell WOD Results
Throwback from 2 years ago when I first started CrossFit.

 

After you check with your doctor and make sure that you are safe for exercise, here’s a quick kick starter to get your body ready for moving.

You will do 2 workouts per week. You can space them out however fits your schedule, you may do them on back to back days if that fits.

Week 1:
4 minutes of Jump Rope or Jog ¼ mile

Then do 3 Rounds of
10 Sit Ups
5 Push Ups
1 Burpee

Week 2:
4 minutes of Jump Rope or Jog ¼ mile
Then do 4 Rounds of
12 Sit Ups
7 Push Ups
3 Burpees

After week 2, jump over to my beginner CrossFit workout track and join my virtual gym (it’s free) and follow along at home. You can message me through there any questions you have as you progress.

I post a beginner workout of the day 2-3 times per week as well. I’ve posted 100 so far, so feel free to check that for workout inspirations. I post the workouts Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

I dropped over 20 pounds in the first 100 days of doing CrossFit. If you stick with it, I believe it will work for you.

1k Beyond The Whiteboard

BeyondTheWhiteboard_CrossFit_Results

I hit 1,000 workouts posted on Beyond The Whiteboard. Kind of unbelievable if you ask me. I’ve got a lot of folks to thank for keeping me motivated, and committed. Namely my 7AM crew, the trainers at HyperFit USA (a.k.a. CrossFit Ann Arbor), my family and friends, but I have to give a tremendous amount of credit to Beyond The Whiteboard. I don’t know why I care so much about that little lightening bolt, but I do. I watch my Fitness Level like a hawk. It used to be the first thing I would check Monday mornings when the updates would run, but now it runs in real time… which is both good and bad :)

Watching my level climb from 1 to 41 (or TIGER level!) has been awesome. It’s been about 2.5 years since I started CrossFit, and Beyond The Whiteboard has given me a detailed record of the progress.

What is pretty amazing is that over the course of 2 and half years, my Fitness Curve has been on more or less the same upward path. It has taken little dips here and there, but the trend can’t be ignored. I think that speaks a lot to the programming at HyperFit, and I like seeing the results plotted this, makes me more convinced HyperFit’s approach to CrossFit is spot on.

I love data (seriously, it’s what I do for a living) and I am so happy to have Beyond The Whiteboard tracking and packaging it up in such a fun and motivating way. And as I say often at work: data and analytics without optimization is pointless, and Beyond The Whiteboard tells me where I’m falling behind, so I can optimize my extra time to hit my weaknesses and ensure a balanced progression.

If you aren’t using Beyond The Whiteboard, start right now.

Attacking Weaknesses in CrossFit

Stay After It!

It’s not pretty, but yesterday I got my first (and second) Muscle Up!!

I started putting in dedicated time and thoughts to this last December at my Level 1 Cert. I really wanted to get it done then, but I was not ready.

Over the past 10 months, I put a focus on lots of strict pull ups and dips and ring dips and did a few 1 on 1 training sessions with our trainers and it all paid off.

A couple of pointers:

  1. Do a lot of pull ups, dips and ring dips. You do need some strength as you are going to land in a very low ring dip.
  2. Warm up: Stretch your shoulders and do a few muscle up transitions on a lower set of rings.
  3. Pull to your hips by leaning back, not just pulling harder. This is not like a super high chest to bar pull up.
  4. Record some video of your attempts, ideally using a camera that has slow motion play back (I like Ubersense)
  5. Do a session with a trainer who can give you specific pointers.
  6. DFQ

Here’s Doug Chapman explaining a pull up / dip complex:

Which One of These is Not Like the Other???

Finding Balace OHS FSQT BSQT CrossFit

 

Hmmmm…. this chart shows my performance index across Back, Front and Overhead Squats. I’m not sure if this is highlighting a strength as much as it’s highlighting some weakness, or both, but I love it! I’m very close to doing a body weight OHS. I was able to get two reps at 180, and I weigh 183. I can’t wait for it to come back around.

It’s super motivating to find things you are good at. There’s a boat load of things that need work (see: rope climbs) but all it takes is one little nugget of success, and I get all pumped up for the entire world of CrossFit.

 

Grid League / NPGL (f.k.a. NPFL) Kicked Off Tonight

It’s in the books! the NY Rhinos defeated the LA Reign 20-15!

It was fun to watch, and exciting sharing this new fitness based sport with the family. We were cheering for New York, so it was an aded bonus to get the win ;)

Overall impression is that there is just a whole lot going on. I found it hard to get amped up for much of anything, which was surprising to me. The best event I have ever seen (from me sitting on my couch’s perspective that is) was the Overhead Squat event from the 2014 CrossFit games. My wife and I sat and enjoyed that after the kids went to bed, and we were both glued to the set, pretty much on the edge of our seat for every lift. Didn’t matter if it was one our favorite athletes or not (although Julie Foucher going for a PR was pretty exciting!).

I had some pretty big expectations for this, and I’m not quite sure if they fell short. The NPGL put a big focus on making sure the fans were able to see who was leading at any point in time, and that worked well. And that was important, but keeping a better view of the action, sticking with an athlete for a longer period of time continuously, vs. jumping around may make for amore engaging and exciting coverage.

The bottom line, I’m looking forward to the next matchup (DC BRAWLERS @ PHX RISE | 8.23.14 @ 9:00PM ET) and watching them improve the experience throughout the inaugural season.

Go Rhinos!!!

An Awesome Weekend With The 2014 CrossFit Games

20140728-114317-42197445.jpg

This weekend was filled with our enjoyment of the 2014 CrossFit Games. The coverage this year was fantastic. Using the ESPN apps on our Apple TV and iPad, we were able to watch as much as possible (when we were not out riding bikes and playing at the park that is).

I think the two highlights came at the book ends of the Games. First, the Overhead Squat event was ridiculously entertaining to watch. It was non-stop action, and was very easy to see who was winning, and who was struggling, and of course it was awesome to watch Julie Foucher go for and get a PR at 231 :)

Here’s the link to watch the OHS event:  http://espn.go.com/watchespn/player/_/id/1932245/

The other highlight moment of the games for me, came by watching the final event (Double Grace) with the whole family gathered around the iPad in my daughter’s bed (after bedtime) Sunday night. All cheering for Julie, and all so proud of her 3rd place finish overall this year.

Whether it was while eating our snacks (as pictured above), from the comfort of the couch, or just on in the background while Lexi teaches JJ how to Jerk  (as pictured below) my hat goes off to CrossFit and all the competitors and people that put this on. Such an awesome way to keep me and my family excited about fitness.

Teaching the Jerk 2014 CrossFit Games with a WOD Toys Barbell

To Paleo or Not To Paleo

Paleo Autoimmune Protocol Dinner

Well, after 6 years of being vegetarian, one of which was spent vegan, my family and I have decided to take a hard 180 and have converted to the Paleo AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diet.

We made the switch about a month ago due to a years worth of strong encouragement from my daughter’s doctor and even more from my previous doctor (who I stopped seeing partly because she was such a jerk about me being veg). So in an effort to fully maximize our health, we are all in Paleo AIP. I had my doctor run a full panel of my blood levels, so I’ll be tracking any changes there. I’ve also been taking a weekly read of my weight and body fat metrics using an Omeron Body Metrics scale.

So far, after a month, I have to say I feel like I have more energy, and my CrossFit performance seems to be improved. I’ve lost 4 pounds as well as decreased body fat slightly. Which is surprising since my calories have gone way up and my fat consumption is through the roof compared to what it had been.

What is Paleo AIP? Paleo AIP is a subset of the Paleo diet designed to heal and seal a gut that has been having issues. We think my issues come from a history of too many grains and especially wheat (which we gave up just about 2 years ago). The diet itself means no grains, no nuts, no nightshades, no beans, and no seeds. I can’t explain how hard it has been to give up cashews and jalapenos.

My CrossFit Level 1 Cert was actually very helpful for me in this transition. They discuss nutrition a lot in the class, and they make a fairly strong case for a Paleo like diet. So trying to drive motivation from potentially increasing my strength and overall fitness is something I’ve been focused on during this transition. Whether or not I’m picking up gains from a placebo effect remains to be seen, however there is a lot of personal data on this for me.

I had plateaued a bit on some things, and my BeyondTheWhiteboard.com level has been holding strong in the low 30s for some time. So we’ll see if that gets moving. It jumped 2 points this last week, thanks in large part to my Murph PR :)

More to come on this for sure. Now it’s time to get back to my bacon…