Severely enjoyed this quick blog.

CrossFit FMS

This will be my one and only post about CrossFit making you bulky. I get just a little tired of breaking it down again and again for people. From now on i will just direct them to this blog post. Training AND EATING like an athlete who wants to be a generally capable human being in all areas of fitness (AKA CrossFit) makes you LOOK like a healthy human being. Period. Please avoid CrossFit if you are scared to look like Christmas Abbott…

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(Photo of Christmas compliments of: www.MetConPhotos.com)

Or Camille Leblanc-Bazinet…Image

Or Julie Foucher…

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Or Lindsey Smith…

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I think you get the point.

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On the other hand, women like this…

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or this…

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…are the product of hormone therapy (steroids) along with a strength and conditioning program designed to make you look as muscular as possible with no real desire to actually improve physical performance. The majority of bodybuilders…

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D13: Breathing… its whats for breakfast.

Okay, another short and sweet one here:

Jaime and I just got back from a six mile run.  We used a foam roller and some Trigger Point to work out the kinks.  And during the run, a theme struck me over the past three days.  How important breathing really is during any type of exercise. 

Okay, before you hit the back button on your browser as you exclaim, “No kidding!  Stupid.  You have to breathe to live.”

As my workout got more intense on Friday, I started very consciously breathing out during the push press.  Maybe somebody can give me a tip on whether this was the right time to be exhaling… maybe I should have been exhaling on the way down. Regardless, it shifted my focus away from my tired muscles and felt like it gave me some renewed energy to push through some more reps.  I forgot about it after the WOD, but it came up during yesterday’s surf lesson.  The instructor, Kimo, said that big guys like me (thanks for calling it how you see it, Kimo) use more oxygen when paddling, so I should be consciously exhaling every time I am paddling.  Slow and forceful.  So once again, to take my mind off the fact that my arms felt like they were about to fall off, I was continuously exhaling.  This also had the added benefit of keeping the salt water out of my mouth… most of the time.  Which then leads me up to tonight’s run.  We actually breezed through the first three miles without really feeling it.  It may have been the lopsided sidewalk we ended up running on, but I found myself concentrating on my breathing again.  And I thought to myself, “Self, this is something you should write about… maybe not for anyone else, but maybe so you stop forgetting to breathe.”

So there you go.  A short post for an even shorter Sunday.  I leave you with the following picture:  Don’t be fat, Clay… don’t be fat.

Alcohol and red bow ties make my double chin look HUGE!

D12: The Perfect CrossFit Sport?

Jaime surprised me with private surf lessons today.  And I was paddling out to try and catch my next wave, I thought to myself: “Is surfing the perfect CrossFit sport?”  For those of you who don’t know, CrossFit encourages you to take your fitness and go use it in a sport.  Every time I see that, I think I should go play soccer.  And then I realize I have had both of my ACL’s replaced with some awesome knee surgery… and it all happened while I was playing soccer.  So that might be a bad idea.

CrossFit espouses:

  • Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance
  • Stamina
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Power
  • Speed
  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Balance
  • And Accuracy (I always forget accuracy)

So as I was paddling out, continually exhaling through my mouth like my instructor, Kimo, had directed me.  I went over these 10 items.  Endurance:  Oh yeah.  After paddling out to the break, turning around, trying to catch the first wave, I knew it was going to be a long day, and some endurance would be nice.  Stamina: Yes.  Absolutely.  Having to continually get past the big waves by pushing up on the board, popping up when catching a wave.  Stamina would be nice.  Strength: See paddling past big waves.  Hell, carrying the long board around is enough reason to need some strength.  Flexibility:  Kimo told me that flexibility is key in surfing.  Going from a prone position to standing takes a lot of flexibility.  He was even suggesting yoga to help out with this.  Power:  That popping up requires an explosive amount of power.  Check.  Speed:  See Power.  The difference between getting up quick and not was typically why I was falling off the board… or not.  Coordination:  From the paddling, to turning around, a lot of the surfing was taking a lot of coordination.  I should work on that one.  Agility:  See Flexibility, Speed, and Coordination.  As a big guy, the agility eludes me a bit right now, and I could see it coming in handy on the waves.  Balance:  Do I really need to explain this one?  You are on a board.  That is riding on a wave.  Wait.  Let me explain laying on your board paddling.  It requires a ridiculous amount of balance.  If you aren’t balanced, you aren’t making it out to the break.  Period.  Accuracy:  If I had thought about accuracy while I was popping up today, it would have helped.  Trying to place my feet accurately when popping up wiped me out at least three times.  Stupid accuracy.

Jaime and I catching some waves… kinda.

As I write this, I am late for dinner with friends.  But let me leave you with a progress report.  This BEFORE photo was taken 20 June 2012.  I weighed 232 lbs.  My waist was 42.5 inches.  The AFTER photo was taken today, 21 July.  Not until I wrote that did I realize it had been a month.  I weighed 220 lbs this morning, and my waist was 40 inches.  Hooray for progress.

20 Jun to 21 July: 232 lbs to 220. 42.5 in waist to 40 in.

As I look at this picture, I think “MAN!  I have a hairy chest.  Someone should trim that thing up.”  I also find that I don’t see a lot of change.  The belly seems to have changed a little and the face looks different.  But then I looked at the next picture.

20 Jun to 21 July: 232 lbs to 220. 42.5 in waist to 40 in.

Okay, I know.  I waxed my back.  But it was disgusting.  And HERE is where I see the most difference.  I have done my best to not change my posture in my pictures (I have been taking one a day to make a time lapse video… how cliche).  But this to me is enough motivation to make it through another month.  Feel free to leave comments chastising me.  They are also motivational.

 

D11: Intensity

Today’s workout at CrossFit 808 felt like a first.  The WOD consisted of 100 Push Presses for time.  Every minute, on the minute, you had to perform five Toes-to-Bar.  If you make it to the 10th minute, you begin alternating between Air Squats and the Toes-to-Bars.  That told me you were supposed to be finished in 10 minutes or less.  The weights were 115 lbs for guys and 95 lbs for girls.  100 times.  I asked the coach if I should scale, and he suggested 75 lbs.  Terrified of the WOD, I quickly complied.

  • Start to 1:00: I completed 33 push presses, then five toes-to-bar
  • 1:15 to 2:18: My total was up to 53, then another five toes-to-bar
  • 2:18 to 3:20: My total was up to 66, then another five toes-to-bar
  • 3:20 to 4:20: My total was up to 78, then another fives toes-to-bar
  • 4:20 to 5:20: My total was up to 90, then another five toes-to-bar
  • 5:20 to 5:48: Finished the last 10. 100 complete.  I certainly didn’t want to do any more toes-to-bar… my hands hurt.

I actually was accused of cheating I finished so fast.  It seemed obvious to me that the weight was too light, but Coach Josh assured me the scale was right and that was the appropriate speed.

So what is the significance of this?  This is the first WOD I can remember that I didn’t take long, unnecessary breaks.  I kept up a blistering pace.  There were times that I wanted to drop the bar and just wait for the minute to be up to do my Toes-to-Bar.  But I kept going.  I would squeeze out two, three, or four more reps before the minute was up.  The source of this new found intensity?

  1. The CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course.  I want to belong to the group that is there for this.
  2. A much larger goal that I may expound upon later.
  3. This post from CrossFit Mean Streets in Los Angeles, CA: crossfitmeanstreets.com/2011/04/27/the-crossfit-games-open-and-the-cheaters/  My favorite part: “The “magic” of the WOD happens not when you finish, but in those final moments when you are in a territory you have never been in. You know this because you might barely be able to stand, or breath, or keep your food down,…. You might be faced with putting a barbell over your head that you are barely holding on your shoulders. It is in these situations that you don’t know,… and… against all other wishes your body may have: you keep going. You gather all the strength you have, both physically and mentally. You might think back to a time you were strong to get you through this current dilemma. You might take a second to tighten up every rep,… Whatever it is, and however it plays out you get through it,… you were in a place you have never been before,… and you push through it. You gained access to that territory. You got your 4 min Fran, or you climbed the rope with no feet all the way to the ceiling, or you got 400 reps on Fight Gone Bad…. Whatever it is… it’s yours.”

I am sure my experienced CrossFit friends already knew this part.  But I had been missing the magic.  I had been taking breaks.  Pacing myself and not really achieving the MAGIC of CrossFit.  CrossFit demands a certain intensity.  In the back of my mind, I knew that, but I wasn’t “digging deeper” as Jaime likes to tell me.  I was proud.  I felt strong.  I know to achieve my goals, ALL of my goals, if I can continually find this level of intensity, I will be able to meet and/or exceed them.   Thoughts?

 

D10: Goal Setting

I have a theory: the total weight of the Navy (all 321,053 of its active duty personnel) fluctuates twice a year.  The one month prior to a Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA), the total poundage probably drops at least 3,210,530 lbs. The day after the PFA, that same weight probably increases by 9,631,590 lbs.  Then that pattern repeats six months later.  It is a fitness mindset that the Navy has ingrained in A LOT of us.  Okay, so not everyone crash diets before a PFA, but I am constantly running into folks who have to do just that so they pass the body composition assessment (BCA).  Even when I was in great shape and didn’t have to work about the BCA, I still  gained about 10 to 15 lbs after a PFA just because “the pressure is off.”  It is an unhealthy cycle created by a bi-annual fitness test.  While the Navy is making strides to stop this (i.e. you have to be ready to pass a BCA on any given day), it is still a trained pattern.

Okay, so why am I writing all of this?  Because I realize my goal cannot be: “To lose 40 lbs for the PFA.”  Why?  Because I have proven time and time again to myself, as soon as the PFA is over, the goal has “expired,” and now I am free to be unhealthy and gain all of that weight back.  I know, I have seen me do it.  Which brings me to my next point, you have to set achievable goals, that are positive in nature, and have a defined timeline.  And it is best to state them in the first person.  For example, my REAL goal is: “By 19 November 2012, I weigh 185 lbs.”  The below book, among others, states that if you use a negative term, for instance: “I will lose 40 lbs,” your subconscious does not pay attention to it.  Also with stating what you will be, you get a clear picture of what you will look like, how it will feel, and all of the associated positive outcomes.  So back to the point, I want to be 185 lbs.  I want to be 185 lbs before the PFA.  After the PFA.  At Christmas.  On my birthday (3 Feb… I like Xbox games).  During the summer (which is year round in Hawaii).

A great book to read about goals… or LISTEN to about goals.

So let’s ask ourselves a question.  Is my goal realistic?  Feel free to comment below after reading this next part:

This morning, I weighed 221.4 lbs.  By the Navy’s tape method, I now have 25% body fat.  By calipers, 21.3% body fat.  (By the way, on 28 June, I was 231 lbs and 28% body fat).  Alright, so let’s look at the numbers:

  • 221.4 lbs times the body fat percentage= Navy (25%)=55.4 lbs/Calipers (21.3%)=47lbs
  • 221.4 – the body fat=Lean Body Mass(LBM)=(Navy)166 lbs/(Calipers)174.4 lbs
  • To get to 185 lbs, I need to lose another 36.4 lbs.  And I don’t want to lose LBM.
  • So by Navy standards, I will have 19 lbs of fat.  By the calipers, I will have 10.6 lbs of fat.
  • (Navy) 19/185*100= 11% Body Fat     (Calipers)  10.6/185*100=5.7% Body Fat

Okay, so if I could get to 11% Body Fat by the Navy standard, then that makes me have an athletic body type.  While that is realistic if I keep training for a marathon, CrossFitting, and eating Paleo, maybe four months is not realistic to get to that goal.  6% Body Fat measured by the calipers is considered “underfat.” And that is not healthy.  Nor is it realistic to think I would be at 6% Body Fat in four months.  So if the Calipers are more accurate, then another 36.4 lbs of lost weight and hopefully none of that is LBM, then that is certainly NOT achievable.

To be honest, I hate, Hate, HATE, HATE the weight goal.  I know that my fellow CrossFitters probably gnash their teeth when they read about a weight goal.  And to be honest, 185 is purely so I don’t have to deal with the Navy’s tape measure ever again. I am more interested in gaining strength (which REALLY doesn’t help losing weight… losing fat, yes…losing weight, no), losing body fat, and just leading a healthier lifestyle.  I am curious to hear anybody else’s thoughts on the matter.  Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

D9: Snooze Button Debate

First, how stoked am I to almost be in double digits posting without missing a day?  Well, pretty stoked.  Thanks for asking.   There are plenty of derelict blogs on the internet where folks had the best of intentions and one day just stopped.  For whatever reason.  I thought that would be me six days ago.  So yay.

Second, what has two thumbs and signed up for the CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course in Orlando, FL on 15-16 September? THIS GUY!  While I am looking forward to making some significant progress in the next two months, I am so ridiculously excited about getting into this class.  That I can’t even tell you.  I would say that I am speechless, but all of the preceeding speech makes that sound stupid.

Okay, on to today’s post.  I am not really thrilled about it, but Jaime and I made a co-decision to put off running our four miles this morning to later in the day.  I won’t go into all of the reasons, but I will go into why I regretted that decision the rest of the day.

#1. I was wide awake at 6:00 a.m.  There was no reason to go back to sleep.  Even if I didn’t get up and run, then I should have taken the dogs to the park and thrown the ball so they could get their exercise.  Why do I say this?  Well, I know from experience that if I am wide awake in the morning, and I go back to sleep, I wake up siginificantly more tired and sleepy.  So it went today.  Probably because I slept for about an hour.  In my world, you either sleep for less than 20 minutes or you make it to an hour and a half.  And after that FIRST hour and a half, the next acceptable wake up time is three hours.  This is something I definitely learned about myself at the Naval Academy.  Naps are awesome, but they need to be timed correctly.

#2. My energy levels sucked for most of the day.  I felt like I literally dragged myself out of the bed.  I can say that because I said “felt.”  I don’t think it is possible to LITERALLY drag yourself out of bed.  That would imply that you were standing over yourself, reached down and grabbed your own arm and own leg, and pulled yourself out of the bed.  Back on topic, I must have looked like a zombie as I lumbered into the bathroom and stared at myself in the mirror.  On a positive note, my hair totally looked professionaly mussed.  At least that one task was done.  I get to walk to work everyday, and today, that six minute walk seemed to take an eternity…. like eight minutes.  I sat listlessly at my computer.  I eventually had my veggie omelet from the food truck out front.  But I was not a high energy person at all.  And nobody likes a non-high energy person.  I guess that would be a low energy person.  Nobody like a low energy person.

#3.  No time to relax and enjoy the morning with Awesome Wife.  We were rushed out the door.  No time for smoothies or breakfast.  No time to sit and chat about how we expected our day to go.  And I found I really missed that.  Especially during what seemed like a much longer walk.

#4.  Dreading having to do the four mile run at a later point in the day.  It is just hanging over our heads.  Well, I assume it is hanging over her head as well.  I keep trying to plan in my mind how this is going to go.  We could treat it like CrossFit and go at 5:00 p.m., but will it still be hot?  I don’t want to wait until 6:00 or 7:00, because dinner needs to get made and I don’t want to eat late.  But if I eat dinner around one of those times, then we will probably have to wait until 9:00 p.m. to go run.  And they say that running late is not good for sleeping.  But THEYalso say that animal fat is bad for you and whole grains are good for you.  Never mind.  THEY sound pretty stupid.  But you get the point, if we had run earlier this morning, it wouldn’t be an issue right now, would it?

So as you can see below, we made our 4.0 mile run and all is right with the world. Feel free to leave a comment by clicking below!
4mile

D8: CrossFat

I really, really, REALLY hate being THAT guy.  In this case, being that guy refers to being the fat dude amongst a whole bunch of not fat people (it does not refer to being the ridiculously drunk guy in a bar… thanks AFN).  Not only are they not fat, but they are some of the most fit people in Honolulu.  Fortunately, they are are some of the most awesome and nice people as well (www.808crossfit.com).

Crossfat

And this insecurity I have makes it tough to even go to the box most days. Heaven forbid I even find out what the WOD is any length of time before the 5:00 p.m. class, because that just adds to the stress. I originally wanted to call this blog “CROSSFAT,” but somebody took it. Apparently they are a squatter because they aren’t even using it. Jerks. But that is besides the point. Unfortunately, this same insecurity is what caused me to slip once I left Japan. I scheduled a workout with a box in Arkansas while I was visiting my folks, but I was too nervous to go. There was a box right outside the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island where I went to school for five weeks. Again, my poor self image held me hostage, and I just didn’t go. I saw a couple of guys in the local gym clearly WOD’ing, and I was too self conscious to approach them.
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Seriously, if this guy walked up to you and asked you to WOD, would you take him seriously? Probably not, because he is wearing a sailor outfit that probably fits an 8 year old girl… and he clearly likes to karaoke. But it is something I am beginning to push through. I totally want to make it to my goal of 185 just so the next time somebody takes a picture of me singing karaoke in a tiny sailor costume, I can be LESS ashamed of it.

D7: Accountability

So I thought about it after wrting my brief post yesterday, it is extremely helpful to me to be accountable to, well, to everybody.  Jaime and I are in this together, and we occasionally slip and fall.  Together, we pick ourselves up, figure out what we did wrong so we don’t repeat our mistakes, and move on.  So I will do my best to not broadcast HER slips, just my own.  So I will begin keeping a food log on a new page with a daily tally of when and what I eat. It is not only about what I eat AND being honest about it, but also complete transparency in what I do every day to achieve my results.  Which means I will also be adding my work out log to the mix.  Not that anyone will find it interesting (not that anyone is reading these anyway), but it will be a public record that I (or anybody else) can go back over to see how I REALLY did.  It is important to me to point out that I am not going on any sort of crash diet.  However, marathon training plus four days of CrossFit every week may seem a little extreme to some.179081 125022400899116 1918623 n
So one reason I love CrossFit (and CrossFit 808… holla) is the accountability that comes along with it. There is always a coach watching to make sure that your form is proper to ensure a) you are doing the movement as efficiently as possible and b) making sure you are performing it as safely as possible. There is always your fellow athletes cheering you on. Some boxes more than others (I am looking at you Kanto Plain CrossFit). Ultimately, you are only accountable to yourself during these workouts. If I skip a rep here or do one less burpee over there, typically no one is counting. One of my and Jaime’s favorite saying is: “You are only cheating yourself.”
I realized after posting the link to this blog on Facebook, accountability is the whole point of this entire blog.
Accountability
I have tried to make this journey alone. And even now that I am on this adventure with my best friend (a.k.a Awesome Wife), I realize I still need help from friends and family. I also realize that most of the folks in my life are more than willing to give it. I just have to ask. So I ask that you support Jaime and me as continue to make our life together more fit. 547509 10150877900883418 188902413 n

D6: Short and sweet

So it is 9:12 p.m. on Sunday night. I had totally intended on getting to sleep by 9:30 p.m., but I just remembered I hadn’t wrote anything in my blog for the day. Of course, that is just how this Sunday has been. Jaime and I have been continuing to eat Paleo for the day, but it was a complete free day from working out. So to advance our fitness goals, we sat down and planned out our meals for the week. Once we had compiled our menus, we made a grocery list. And then we even went and bought all of the food. Jaime remarked, as all of our times were placed on the conveyor belt, that everything was completely unprocessed… except for the Diet Root Beer. I call that a win for the day.

One last thought: I really enjoy the accountability that comes along with writing this blog. If nothing else, for 30 minutes to 1 hour out of every day I get to sit down and focus on my goals. And that is definitely worth my time.

D5: Quick Saturday Update

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So the first week of training for the Honolulu Marathon is complete. Word to the wise: Don’t run at 2:00 p.m. in July in Honolulu. It is hot. Really hot. The breeze was nice here and there, but whooo!


So I said I would send a prize to whoever calls me out on missing a days post, so I got this in just under the wire. I will try and be more timely tomorrow!