What I took away from the CrossFit Games

I want to do that… (thanks to games.crossfit.com for the photo)

The CrossFit Games is an impressive display of fitness. The guys and gals are moving heavy – H E A V Y – weight one event and then the next they are running 2.1 miles or some other endurance feat. Last year CrossFit HQ mixed in broad jumps into the competition and I am guessing it is only a matter of time before they do some sort of max height box jump. They have already had events in straight sprints in year’s past and the zig zag event this year…there is not a single activity that is out of scope for the CrossFit Games (other than playing a “traditional sport”).

When watching the events you sometimes forget how impressive these guys and gals are because they make it look so easy.

Watching Cinco 1 yesterday and watching those guys move 405 pounds in the deadlift like it was just a warmup towards their single round max is mesmerizing. Watching Amanda Goodman clean and jerk a lot more than I can is both humbling and inspiring. Watching these same individuals swim with ease and run for distance is simply ridiculous.

The folks at the CrossFit Games are nothing short of freaks of nature.

Sure, many of them have some sort of genetic background that helps them excel, but most, if not the vast majority, simply just plain out-work everyone else. The stories of the multiple workouts per day and the hours these individuals spend at the gym is nuts. If you follow an athlete like Matt Chan on Twitter you know how much he puts into the gym and how he puts even more into his nutrition. Continue reading

How do you know when you CrossFit too much?

There are all sorts of jokes on the internet relating scenarios in which someone is dreaming about CrossFit or they count box jumps at night before falling asleep or jot down possible WOD’s during the all too long meetings at work. How do I know I CrossFit too much? When I decided I should “med ball clean” bags of concrete this weekend while building a fence.

After two days early in the week digging fence post holes and setting those posts in concrete and then two more days of work this weekend of the actual construction of the fence, this video was taken on Sunday night. Check out that med ball clean form!

Back straight, weight on heels, fast pull, shrug and a slight dip to get under the bag. I didn’t squat all the way down, but, c’mon…it’s a freaking bag of concrete!

(How about this for a WOD? Move 15 bags of 80# concrete from the truck to the ground, then move one bag and place by each hole where the fence post will be set….then move them all back into the garage…then move them all back outside again the following day. That was part of my “WOD” on Monday and Tuesday last week.)

Does anyone else do anything silly like this that screams “I CrossFit too much”?

Here is the final product of my labor this past week. Looks pretty good, if I do say so myself.

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Pre-workout snack from Bobby Flay

While watching Food Network with my wife the other day I saw a quick commercial in which Bobby Flay recommended this snack for pre-workout. He quickly ran through the ingredients and I wanted to punch my TV.

First of all, you don’t really need anything pre-workout. Maybe some fruit to give you a quick bit of real sugar to get moving, otherwise it is the post-workout nutrition that will give you the most benefit. I personally eat a banana sometimes in the morning before working out. I am at the gym most mornings by 5am for a workout and sometimes at 4:30 in the morning I just need something to get me over until I can get some real food after a workout.

What you really don’t need, ever, much less pre-workout is a ton of sugar. Here is the recipe pimped by Flay in the commercial.

Is this some kind of joke?! Who approves this stuff??

Here is the ingredient list:

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/3 cup best-quality cocoa powder (such as Vahlrona or Callebaut)
1/4 cup clover honey
1/4 cup granulated cane sugar
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pure coconut extract
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup raw whole almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coconut chips, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup best-quality bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup best-quality white chocolate chips

By my count that is six of the 12 ingredients that are some form of sugar. I might be wrong about the pure coconut extract, but coconut can be a fat or a sugar (coconut crystals, for example, are a sugar). There is no workout that you would benefit from spiking your blood sugar like that only to crash in a short while. The quick high will be followed by a quick fall.

Stick to what you know, Bobby, yelling at inexperienced “chefs” on reality scripted TV.

I used to eat this

When I was on Weight Watchers and when I used to count calories I used to devour “treats” like this. Skinny Cow deserts were the cat’s meow. I could eat one of these and only use a few points on the WW plan. They were tasty, low in calories, low in fat and the old me thought that was the perfect combination.

Now I know better.

I don’t eat dairy anymore and when I do it is usually in the form of frozen yogurt (although 9 times out of 10 when I get froyo I opt for the sorbet) and I rarely eat desert. Now days when I eat desert it is likely to be apple sauce with bananas and cinnamon.

I eat fat and lots of it. I eat fully fattened bacon and save the grease for use in cooking later. It’s is grains and processed sugars I avoid. It is fake food that I avoid. And this Skinny Cow might be the very definition of fake food. Continue reading

Rest day bike ride

For the longest time I have wanted to ride my bike from Cherry Creek Reservoir to REI downtown. While I believe I have been physically capable of doing so for a few years I haven’t done it because I lived in Parker until the last two years (nearly) and now I live in south Aurora. Both houses were quite a way from Cherry Creek and I didn’t have a bike carrier to transport my bike or a car big enough to transport it. I finally got a carrier!

Today I drove to the new park near Cherry Creek High School and picked up the Cherry Creek Trail (after quite the detour) and made it to REI (Illegal Pete’s for brunch) and back. What a nice ride and will definitely do it again.

It was just over 16 miles down to REI (I didn’t know the Cherry Creek Trail went east along the dam before turning towards Kennedy Golf Course and heading north to downtown…soooo…I took a nice detour through Greenwood Village, past Hampden and I-25 before catching Monaco to the Cherry Creek Trail) and about 14 miles back to the car. I will be visiting this trail head again in the near future because the mountain bike course they have there is awesome. I picked it up when I got near my car and rode the mountain bike trail for a bit before getting back to the parking lot.

Here are a few pictures I took today. I wish I could have taken a picture of the lady in her motorized chair “walking” her dog with large soda in hand…