Wednesday, February 28, 2018

WOD Wednesday #60

On a 12-minute clock, 4 rounds of:1 minute of 1.5-pood kettlebell snatches
1 minute of sit-ups
1 minute of lunges

Monday, February 26, 2018

RECIPE: Baked Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes

 Prep Time:  15-18 min
Serves: 4

Fat (g)
Carbs (g)
Protein (g)
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 to 6 chicken Breast, boneless/skinless
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1 can (14-oz.) quartered artichokes, drained
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, sliced into thin rounds
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 bag (6 to 8 oz.) baby spinach

1/2 c. vegetable broth
Per Serving

Preheat oven to 425.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large nonstick skillet.
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Add to skillet and brown on both sides; about 5 minutes on each side.
Remove from skillet and set it on the side, leaving oil in skillet.
Add artichokes, onions, carrots and garlic to the skillet.
Cook for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly tender, stirring occasionally.
Add the spinach and continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and add broth and chicken.
Place in a pyrex dish  in the oven and bake for 18 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.
Plate and ladle liquid and veggies over chicken pieces.

Friday, February 23, 2018

CrossFit Open Workout 18.1 Tips Guide - Powered by Bear Komplex

Welcome to the 2018 CrossFit Open! If you haven’t heard or seen it yet, 18.1 is….

20min AMRAP of:
8 Toes to Bar
10 Dumbbell hang clean and jerk (50/35) – 5 per side
14/12 Cal row

Score= total reps

This is great workout that will test your grip and your motor. Don’t worry if you can’t do this Rx or as written, there are scaling options that include hanging knee ups and dumbbell weights of (35/20).

Here are some Tips and Tricks when approaching this workout:
  • HAVE FUN!! This is just for fun so have a good time and just keep moving! 
  • Rx vs Scaled- Any Rx score will trump a scaled score. Even if it takes you 20mins to do 1 T2B Rx, that is a higher score than anything scaled and we’ll take it! If T2B is not your limitation, but the weight is too heavy, do as much as you can Rx until you have to scale. Otherwise, please feel free to start your workout scaled. The Open is when PRs are broken and new skills are born!! SO TRY!!
  • Grip- Try to maintain a hook grip whenever possible for all 3 movements until you fatigue, then transition to a false grip
  • T2B- (This is your rest) Do smaller sets or singles to maintain your pace, this will also allow for a break on your grip
  • DB hang clean and jerk- Power through these if you can and try not to let go of the DB; find a rhythm that works for you. DON’T FORGET TO PAUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE HANG AND AT THE SHOULDER BEFORE JERKING (AVOID A DB SNATCH). 
  • Row- Get on the rower! No matter how slow you go, you are still doing work. Set your damper at a number that will allow you to say a few words when you dismount the rower so you can immediately hop on the rig for your T2B.

Suggested Warm Up: 3x

200m row
5 Scap pulls
5 Beat swings
8 slow controlled one arm DB high pull w/ light weight on each arm
Couch Stretch
Lunges x 10
Banded Good mornings x 10
5 Inch worms

With the small rep schemes and relatively light load, this workout is designed to keep you motoring—continuously for 20 minutes.  You should aim to find a deliberate pace right out of the gate; look for something just below that “threshold pace” (not necessarily comfortable but certainly not redline).
Do not get sucked into the numerous repetitive transitions and waste time; stay deliberate throughout. And if rowing is a strong suit for you, I think you are going to enjoy this workout!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

WOD Wednesday #59

3 rounds for time of:
-  21-cal. row
-  12 handstand push-ups
-  3 rope climbs, 15-ft. rope

Modify the exercises as needed so you can push yourself throughout the workout. For today, choose easier movement options so you can keep moving during the workout and practice more complex versions during your warm-up or cool-down.

Intermediate Option
3 rounds for time of:
21-cal. row
9 handstand push-ups
2 rope climbs, 15-ft. rope

Beginner Option3 rounds for time of:
15-cal. row
12 push-ups
3 rope climbs, lying to standing

Monday, February 19, 2018

Product Review: 4KOR Fitness Gear (Mobility Balls)

Product Details:
The 3 piece Massage Ball Set from 4KOR Fitness was thoughtfully designed and provides 3 different styles of massage balls in order to release tight muscles on any part of your body. The double lacrosse ball, also known as the peanut lacrosse ball, is the perfect replacement for the homemade tennis balls-taped-together tool that so many people use for self massage. The peanut lacrosse ball is easier to use for many things than individual balls since it doesn’t squirm around and is designed to stay where you want it to without rolling away. The peanut lacrosse ball straddles your spine so you can roll it right down the center of your spine and loosen the erector spinae muscles that easily tend to tighten up. The single fireball is great to use on hard to reach muscles where the peanut lacrosse ball would not work effectively. We designed our spiky massage ball to have enough give that it won’t be too hard and painful to use effectively. The 3 piece Massage Ball Set also comes with the signature 4KOR Fitness customer service guarantee. If you need us, we'll be there with a quick and friendly response every time. Whether it's offering a refund or fitness tips, we'll do anything we can to ensure your satisfaction.

3 Massage tools for only $27!

Product Review:
The FireBall is a groundbreaking massage ball that is designed to go where your basic lacrosse balls can’t—creating higher global shear pressures for an intense, effective, and efficient brand of deep tissue therapy. The FireBall is a robust new redesign of one of the most popular recovery products the lacrosse ball.  This tool offered by 4KOR is an alternative to traditional foam rollers and massage balls, with an improved nylon frame construction, grip-strong  tread, and an innovative, groove pattern for deep tissue therapy.

Use it after a workout, before bed, or during a lunch break to treat or prevent knots and soreness. The Fireball goes anywhere, works everywhere, and helps just about anybody recover faster to get back in the gym sooner. Since I have been doing my own soft tissue release I like to think: “More shear, more better, more awesome,”.
The balls are VERY HARD, so be aware of that. They work great for getting into those hard-to-reach muscles in your lower back. I think they take some getting used to, and you have to play around with them at first to find how they work best for your body.  One of the things I love about the Peanut and Fire Mobility balls: they’re small yet crazy effective. The small size allows you to get into those tight areas you normally wouldn’t be able to with a regular-sized foam roller, and doesn’t force you to hold up your body weight the whole time. They’re also small enough to fit in your bag, making them perfect for travel. 

This little rubber peanut ball-thing is perfect for getting into those tight spots in your calf, feet, neck, hip flexors, glutes and shaped to fit right on each side of your spine. So far my favorite use for the Mobility Balls is to break down the fascia in my feet, to help eliminate the painful areas and inflammation from training for OCR and on my upper back (tspine) to allow my shoulder to get into a better position when throwing or lifting overhead and to counteract the effects of sitting in class for hours ever day.

Testimonial from client Taylor C.
"With helpful YouTube videos and these wonder balls, I've able to work successfully on knots that I thought were permanent. Really helps release stored tension trigger points in my shoulders and neck and back. I've found it helps to alleviate intensity of my migraines that begin in those areas too. Great used right before bed, promotes really good sleep for me."

Friday, February 16, 2018

Work in Progress

In my own training I have many struggles.  I am going after some volume at 90% of my bests and there are multiple mistakes being made in each clip. To name just a few of the low lights I see forward bottom positions, quick hips out of my set up, and my biggest flaw - early arm bend in both the snatch and clean.

It would be super easy to look at the results of the session and say, "lift were made, nothing to work on here."

Inversely, I could also look at all of the technical flaws and go completely back to the drawling board. Worse, why not just throw the baby out with the bath water and take up ping pong.

The fact is the next, and best, course of action is somewhere in the middle. Take the good with the bad, realize training isn't easy, and formulate goals and a plan for the next training session, microcycle and priority event.

It is in these difficult areas where progress is made and the real fun of your chosen proven ground should be. If you don't like the hard that training is bringing you, then you really should think about changing what you train.

Know this, without the work you won't make any progress.  And, without challenging yourself and finding flaws you won't know what to work on. 

The other thing to note is that I am not in my usual training facility. Yup, I got out of my garage, my own head, and trained under the guidance of the best I could find.
The good thing for you is that in this day and age you don't need to fly, drive or ride to Olympia WA to work with a great coach.  Great coaching options are all around you.

If you'd like to discuss the best training options for you, and that does not just mean olympic weightlifting, going remote, or working with me. Simply reply to this email with the subject line TRAINING and let me know how I can help.

I'll gladly chime in with the best advice I can muster up. The fact is I have trained multiple sports at a high level all over the country and would be happy to share my experiences so yours are better.

At the end of the day the goal is making this world a better place through better movement.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

WOD Wednesday #58

For Time:15 Thrusters 135/95
Run 200m
20 Thrusters 95/65
Run 400m
30 Thrusters 65/45
Run 800m

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Product Review: Stealth Align Foam Roller by Muuv Sport

Product Details:
Stealth Align™ foam roller has been exclusively engineered to unlock your power and potential. Its unique core design provides the following primary benefits:
  • Improves posture and spinal alignment
  • Releases muscle tension and increases restorative properties of adhesions or scar tissue within muscles
  • Provides deeper and more targeted pressure relief
  • Increases blood flow throughout the body
  • Larger 8-inch roller diameter allows for longer range of motion and increases flexibility
These are the Unique Features Exclusive to the Stealth Align™ foam roller:
  • Center core design
  • 8 inch circumference of the roller
  • Raised diamond patterns on both the left and right center wheels
  • The center channel allows the spine to be controlled and adjusted while rolling
  • Left and right sides of the roller are angled to provide support, balance, and additional exercises
  • The ability to control and target the calve muscles by using the unique center core design

I received this a few months ago and have waited to write my review to make sure I was a true fan. This this is amazing!! Since I have started using it my mobility has improved and my muscle soreness has dwindled, especially in my back. Within a few days of using it for only a few minutes (5min max) during the evening I can tell a world of difference plus it is a nice way to crack your back too. 

 I targeted this with the intentions of being able to simultaneously target and "scrub" back/shoulder muscles that traditional rollers couldn't. I no longer have to resort to a lacrosse ball due to the rugged channels that dig deep into the muscle tissue. The channel is also extremely ideal for hips, calves, quads, hams, etc. I highly recommend this to anyone who's looking to take their mobility to the next level.

Testimonial From Taylor C.
First let me say this is the best foam roller I have used. It is firm and the unique design allows you to roll out all aspect of your body. As a nurse and crossfitter my back is often stiff and locked up. This roller allows me to release my back comfortable. The center channel protects my spine, and the height of the roller allows me to stretch and mobilize to the full extent. The foam is dense and has held up well. I have used this roller constantly for multiple months and I will not go back to the standard roller.

Festivus Games - Competition "for the rest of us”

APRIL 21st, 2018 EVENT Details-
Find a Hosting Box Near You:

Festivus Competition Details:
The first Festivus competition was held on April 30th, 2011. The concept was simple yet long overdue. Since novice and intermediates make up 95% of athletes it made sense to have a competition designed only for them. No fire-breather types allowed!

As the made-up holiday “Festivus” was created “for the rest of us” Festivus Games continues the tradition of a light-hearted spirit with “feats of strength for the rest of us.”

Festivus Games was designed so it wouldn’t be necessary to scale the events. No athlete, whether six months in or brand new, will need to scale any of the events. The competition is about capacity more than a high degree of skill. Everyone can row…just how fast? Everyone can deadlift..just how much?

Since the first competition with about 70 athletes Festivus Games has grown to over 19,000 Athletes in 2017.

When you compete in the Festivus Games you can expect to be challenged but you can also expect to have a lot of fun! With our Novice class Festivus Games really is the perfect venue for your first functional-fitness competition. Our Intermediate class will provide enough challenge for all but the best of the best athletes so Festivus Games can be your competition of choice for years! And, if you should happen to be age-mature enough? We’ve got the Masters 45+ division. We love our Masters Athletes!

We offer an INDIVIDUAL event in April and a 2-PERSON TEAMS event in October each year. At our next event Novice, Intermediate and Masters athletes from across the country and various parts of the world will compete, all on the same day, in this one-day event. Each host will award the top three Athletes in each division for both male and female classes.

Click Here to find the closest Host for the APRIL 21st EVENT!!!

You can count on feats of strength “for the rest of us” for sure!

I will post pictures from the event and detail my experience so be sure to check back at the end of April!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Product Review: NextRoller Vibrating Foam Roller

Product Details:
Our vibrating foam roller combines the time tested methods of sports massage and foam rolling into the perfect fitness recovery and mobility device. It feels amazing on your sore muscles and joints.

Whether you're seeking faster and more efficient recovery from your workouts, improved mobility, or rehabbing an old injury, the NextRoller can help you reach your fitness goals.

Our product has stood the test of time: check out our reviews! We've helped thousands of happy customers meet their fitness goals.
We stand behind the NextRoller completely and are committed to delivering an incredible product at an accessible price.

Choose From 3 Speeds of Vibration Intensity
Extra Firm, High Density Rolling Surface
Up To 4 Hours of Battery Life
Removable Carrying Handle
Highly Portable: Take it on the Road!

My Review:
 It is like having 3 devices in one: a foam roller, a TENS unit, and a massager. The "foam" part is made of a hard rubber, not as hard as a car tire, but not soft either. A regular foam roller when they first came out, was smooth and made of a hard foam. So it basically had one major use for it. The grid-like areas help get into those tough spots to address trigger points, depending on how you position your body over it.

This foam roller not only allows you to address trigger points from a wide spread area, but also more concentrated areas because of the pattern of the grid.

There are 3 levels of vibration on this roller - Levels 1, 2, 3.  The vibrational frequencies are at 20, 40, and 67 Hz. My body personally feels the best using Levels 1 & 2 and this for me seems to stimulate healing quicker. All 3 of these frequencies is what you would find with an average TENS unit.  A TENS unit helps stimulate endorphin and seratonin production, which help with pain relief, healing, making you feel better overall.

Level 1 (20 Hz) seems to help me more with chronic pain.
Level 2 (40 Hz) seems to help with muscle stimulation
Level 3 (67 Hz) seems to help with acute pain.

How am I using it now? I use it after my workouts/exercise (weightlifting, cardio, HIIT, walking, karate, resistance band training, KB training, etc) on my whole body - quads, hams, glutes, hips, chest, stomach, IT bands, calves, shins, heels, feet, all over back, lats, tris, bis, forearms, behind knees, ankles, wrists, shoulders, traps. The only areas I wouldn't really use are the neck and head because I have some motion sickness issues and even at the lowest level, it made me feel sick.

You can roll it with the vibration or you can roll without vibration or you can have it stationary. I found it's most effective AFTER a workout while your muscles are warmed up, but it's also good if you use without doing a workout.

I am also using the NR to help me with mobility type exercises and I think it's a great tool for that. Rather than having to buy several tools that could easily cost a few hundred, all this is wrapped up in this roller and it's great. Though the price of the Hyperice Vyper has come down, because of the reviews I read on that with often not having great customer service, I went with the NR because sometimes things do go wrong and you want the company to be positively responsive to address the issue.

The NR also holds a charge for quite some time. I've only had to charge it a few times since I've gotten it and maybe the average use of it per day is about 15 minutes. I haven't tried to see how long it will go before it doesn't work and I have to recharge. I believe since I charged it, it was about 7-8 days ago.

 Physical impressions of the device: It is solidly built.  If you set it on the floor or carpet the thing will "crawl" around--pretty neat. I rolled this thing between my shoulder blades with my whole body on it and my feet, and it didn't flinch. I'm seriously impressed now. I then did the soles of my feet, putting heavy weight to keep it from vibrating away, then my whole body.  For each area I had to roll up, down, up, down, over and over again. The time and discomfort are why I hate foam rolling, no matter how much it serves to protect me from injury. With this jewel, I was able to hit EVERY spot with practically no pain or discomfort. My typical pain spots were....NOT!!!! All I could think of is that the vibration, along with doing what vibration does to the muscles, fascia, and neuroreceptors, also effectively overwhelmed the pain sensing nerves (nociceptors). This kind of overwhelming the sensory input so that pain is dampened or erased is exactly how TENS units work. 

So I say again: Rolling with the NextRoller Vibrating Foam Roller was PAIN-FREE, and took only one pass for each area. To test if the rolling actually worked because I'm so conditioned to expect nothing without pain, I just rolled myself on my regular roller, and lo and behold, I had almost no tender spots left. And by tender, I mean hypertonic, hypersensitive areas of muscle that are pathological (not good). I am so very sold on this device, and am looking to see if there is any formal research coming out. Current research (Brunetti et atl, 2006) has shown dramatic and long lasting improvements in strength and balance, both often severely compromised after surgery, from local application of 100 Hz vibration for 10-15 minutes after surgery. This device is clearly lower in frequency, and probably less effective as a sensorimotor / proprioceptive activation device, but its frequency definitely covers that of the pain sensors based on my experience.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

WOD Wednesday #57

Hot Tamales

Air Squats
Rest 1:00 min
Overhead Walking Lunges (45/25)
Rest 1:00 min
Assault Bike (Calories)
Rest 1:00 min
Russian Twist (L+R=1 Rep)
Rest 1:00 min
Mountain Climbers (L+R=1 Rep)

Record the total number of reps

Monday, February 5, 2018

Battle Rope Buyers Guide

Content in this post is courtesy of ELITESRS Fitness, check out the their website to purchase equipment, more in depth analysis, and video content!

Battle ropes most commonly come in three lengths (30, 40 or 50 feet) and two thicknesses (1.5" and 2"). The size you should get depends on two main factors: your fitness goals, and the amount of space you have.

After all this testing and experimenting, here's what I've discovered matters with battle ropes:

  • Material
  • Length
  • Thickness

I'd recommend good Poly Dacron: Poly Dacron rope is made from polypropylene and dacron plastic fibers. These synthetic fibers are twisted into strands, with the Dacron providing the strength in the outer braid. Polypropylene provides a lightweight core and additional strength. Using polypropylene for the core reduces weight and cost and makes the rope lighter.

The main benefit of poly dacron is that it doesn't shed. Manila ropes perform great if you're only using them outside, but they are a little more expensive and they shed little fibers every time you use them, which can be a pain to clean up if you're inside. Manila ropes are also 10% to 25% more expensive than comparable polydac ropes. I'd only recommend manila if you want a more organic product (manila is made from hemp plant fibers) or if you only plan to use these outside.

How to tell between cheap and good polydac? I hate to say it, but price is the easiest way, as most manufacturers won't discuss what blend level they use. Our ropes are 80% Dacron, 20% Polypropylene, which we've found to be the optimum blend for durability and fluidity. Anything greater than 30% Polypropylene has that more fibrous feel.

Thick ropes carry more weight, while longer ropes allow for a more fluid motion.
Thicker ropes require bigger hands and greater grip strength. If you're looking for high intensity, cardio blasting workouts, we recommend the 1.5" diameter battle rope. These ropes will allow you to go hard, maintain a solid grip, and will fit perfectly into a circuit training workout.
If it's muscles you’re after and you're prepared to perform a workout that feels more like a bench press than wind sprints the, 2.0" width battle rope is for you. These ropes are 35% larger than the 1.5" width ropes and require a larger hand and stronger grip to maintain control of the battle rope.

Shorter ropes aren’t as fluid, but they allow for smaller spaces. Because your rope will essentially be folded in half at an anchor point, you need a straight line that is half the length of your rope. For a 50' rope you'll need 25 feet of clear space.
The most common length is 50 feet, followed by 40' and 30' respectively. A 50' battle rope leaves you with 25' in each arm, which is a great length for creating momentum-filled waves for a smooth, low-impact workout.

We recommend: All things being equal, and if you’re unsure of which one to get, we recommend the 50 foot length and 1.5" width. The longer length will be the most fluid and versatile, and the 1.5” grip will be the easiest to hold and use.

Friday, February 2, 2018

PT Pathologies: Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a condition where cartilage in the joints break down and the result is pain, inflammation and problems in moving the joint.  The condition is a degenerative disease and a fairly common join condition.  There are two different forms of osteoarthritis, and although they do not necessarily feel different, there is a difference in what causes them.  The first form is called the Primary Form, and it is largely related to the process of someone getting older, and it is most generally found in the joints of the hands.  Primary is said to be due to wear and tear on a joint.  The condition is mainly a chronic disorder where the cartilage in the synovial joints is broken down, resulting in a significant decrease in range of motion in the affect joint as well as possible crepitus.  The main complaint that these patients have is usually and aching pain in the joint.  Studies show the approximately 80-90% of people over the age of 65 show some sort of evidence of the Primary form of OA.  The leading cause of diability in elderly people is OA in the knee joints.

       There is a Secondary Form of osteoarthritis, and it is the breakdown of cartilage due to a predisposing factor, such as trauma or injury to a joint in the body.  An example of the second form would be a teenager hurting their ankle nee or hand while playing a sport.  Patients who deal with secondary are usually in sudden pain so they are looking for immediate treatment to help alleviate the issue.  One treatment used that can quickly help with pain in a joint would be an injection of a glucocorticoid.  This injection would be given directly into the joint.  Even though this is a very effective method for immediate relief there is a negative result to consider.  While the short term effects are great for pain, some possible side effects of multiple injections include tissue damage due to repeated injections, thinning of cartilage and weakening of the ligaments.  Aside from injections, some other treatment options include relaxations exercises icing and heating therapies and hydro therapy depending on what form of osteoarthritis the patient has.  Physical therapy can help keep range of motion in the joint and minimize the effects of this disorder.  By improving mobility and increasing the strength of the joint, physical therapy would allow for as much independence for the patient as possible , based on the patient's tolerance.