Sunday, November 20, 2011

Make That Change

Recently with the urging from my wife Ashley we made the switch from a microwave to a convection oven. Why you might ask? Well, she was always saying it wasn't good for you to eat the food that came out of them and if you heated things in plastic in them chemicals would leach into your food. She's a smart gal and I had also heard the same thing from my sister Amy. So being the romantic guy that I am, this past Wednesday for Ashley's birthday I went and got her a convection oven. Now, I have to admit I was reluctant to get rid of the microwave because of the convenience. I mean, waiting an extra few minutes to heat up my food was not acceptable.

Now after doing some research I'm glad I made the change. There are some scary things I have read about the use of a microwave and the affect it has on your food. Not to mention what it does to your body while standing by it when it is working. Microwaves were banned in Russia in the 1970's because of the things they found through research. Not surprising all the research done on them have happened in Europe and Russia. We Americans just can't afford the time it would take to do a little research and study the long term affects of "Nuking" our food. Just not convenient you know.
Here is just one statement from the reading I have done,
"Structural degradation leading to decreased food value was found to be 60 to 90 percent overall for all foods tested, with significant decreases in bioavailability of B complex vitamins, vitamins C and E, essential minerals, and lipotropics (substances that prevent abnormal accumulation of fat)."

The first article I read The Microwave is Killing You! By Stephanie Relfe B.Sc. states,
"Microwave cooking is one of the
most important causes of ill health. It is certainly one of the most ignored."
It is a lengthy article full of scientist talk but well worth the read.
Here is another one that is less full of science talk and geared more torwards the affects of "Nuking" and your food and nutrition.
Stop Using Your Microwave by Domestic Design
Both articles have plenty of sources so read to your hearts content.

Bottom line is this, for my family and our short term and long term health for ourselves and our son we decided to get rid of our microwave. We did it based on what we read were the affects on our food and our over all health. This is a choice you will have to make for yourself and or your family. Most of all I encourage you to go and do the research for yourself and consider what I have written or the articles I posted above. Happy Sunday!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Journey

This week I want to feature Stephanie. She has been with me for over a year and doesn't look to be going anywhere any time soon. I have to be honest with you tough,. When Stephanie first started at my 5:30am CrossFit Central class I was not a big fan of her. She whined and her attitude was not the greatest. Needless to say I wanted her in another class so I wouldn't have to deal with her.
I year later she is still in my Central class and is Olympic Lifting twice a week with me at Red Black Gym. She has made great strides and continues to grow as a CrossFitter and an Olympic Lifter as well. I absolutely love having her around and consider a friend.

I joined Crossfit Central in November of 2010. It quickly became very apparent to me that I would need A LOT of extra attention if I ever hoped to learn any of the Olympic lifts, let alone be able to perform them fast with some sort of technique. In April of 2011, I decided to add on Zach’s Olympic Lifting class to my normal schedule. My thinking was, I’ll take this class for three months, figure the lifts out and then I can go back to just crossfitting.

I can remember my first few classes; everything seemed very foreign and really difficult. When I started, I was secretly afraid of snatching. After all, my idea of the lift was to take a weighted bar and throw it at my head, how can you not be afraid of that? So, in the beginning I could only lift with the bar which weighs a whopping 35lbs; hey, everyone has to start somewhere. Even with the bar, I could somehow manage to lose my balance and fall or hit myself with the bar in some other way (I’m embarrassed to even imagine what that looked like.) NOTE: Learning something new is not for the proud; you have to be vulnerable and willing. I would wake up almost every morning with new bruises but all I could think about was how/what I could improve in the next class. It was physically difficult, but more mentally exhausting and at times I felt like a small child trying to learn how to tie my shoe and then immediately jump up and throw a ball. I say mentally exhausting because I would spend a few minutes in front of the bar running through a checklist in my head of things I had learned and was trying to make a habit for my body. It would go something like; feet even and toes pointed slightly out, shins lined up with the bar, bar against the body, hands in the same place each time, hook grip, eyes forward, chest up, shoulders back, knees out, back tight, weight in middle of the foot, deep breath in, hold it, small prayer to God that I would complete the lift, and this is all just to get set up. I could probably spend an hour on the platform just preparing for a lift, but then that’s where the mental part kicks in. I could talk myself out of a lift in equally the same amount of time. Now, imagine doing all of that and your body still only does half of what you told it to do.
Like I said, mentally exhausting. ..

I have had several small achievements, and some big achievements, but they all make huge impressions on my attitude. The first time I received a clean in the proper position and stood it up, I was so happy and it felt so easy, I couldn’t wait to try it again. The first time I snatched and pulled myself under the bar, I realized I would never hit myself in the head with the bar! No longer being afraid of something is incredibly liberating. That’s how it goes; you get something right, then you go back to being inept, then you get something right again. It’s a cycle and somehow along the way you learn and hopefully reinforce only the good. That’s where Zach comes in, he’s always watching.

Zach sees a lift and Boom!, you have immediate feedback on what went wrong and what you were supposed to do instead. Now get back on the platform and try again! Zach’s passion for Olympic lifting is obvious to anyone that he meets and his commitment to the sport pushes me to work harder than I thought I could. He also breaks the lift’s down so we practice progressions. Now instead of feeling like that “small child trying to learn how to tie my shoe and then immediately jump up and throw a ball,” I’m just focused on getting the loop on the laces right. Then rest will come, but it’s all in the details and you build on the technique.

I knew lifting was going to be hard when I started, but I never expected that that I would love it and would become addicted to it. I have gotten so much stronger and never fear Crossfit WOD’s with Olympic lifts in them because I always know how much weight I can handle. The initial three months I signed up for came and went; I’ve been in the class for almost eight months now and have no plans of leaving. Instead, I have huge goals for next year…like snatching my body


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Olympic Weightlifting and Me

This week I asked Cindy to share with you whatever was on her mind. She is fairly new to Red Black Gym but not to CrossFit Central. Hope everyone enjoys.

I joined the Olympic Lifting class at Red Black Gym with a single goal in mind. I wanted to be stronger. What I did not realize is that I would also find a sport to challenge me both physically and mentally -- something for which I have been searching for a long time.
I started Olympic Lifting in October 2011 with Coach Zachary Thiel, who also happens to be my Crossfit coach.
I had already been Crossfitting for 2 ½ years, but the Olympic Lifting class is even more demanding. It steps it up to a new level for me. We do a lot of work in a short amount of time. The warm up feels like a workout in and of itself, but it does the job to get you loose so you can move some serious weight.
I thought I knew something about the Olympic Lifts because I’ve done them in many WODs at Crossfit Central over the years. But it turns out I have a lot to learn. There’s more to it than just where you place your hands and feet. Details matter. Timing matters.
When you lift a bar overhead, a number of things have to happen in just a spilt second. It’s not enough for me to do a lift once and “get” it. I need to drill the movements over and over again, and that’s what we do.
The level of focus required leaves me just as exhausted mentally as physically.
I’ve already noticed slight improvements, and it’s only been 6 weeks.I’m building up my strength through Olympic lifting -- I can see the results in Crossfit. But really, it’s a side benefit to the challenge of a sport that tests my mind and body.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Squatting: By John Welbourn

John Welbourn from Crossfit Football and Crossfit Balboa goes over what he perceives is the best way to squat. There are several styles of squatting, and what ever you or your coach thinks is best for you is what you should do. I prescribe to the high bar back squat and believe it is more beneficial for Olympic weightlifting and allows for greater flexibility and depth. And like John says could take pressure of your shoulders and elbows. But that's for you to decide.
And I just like John and his brash in your face attitude....and I agree with him on squat technique. Enjoy

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Improving One Sport To Get Better At Another

I'm going to start having guest writers come to my blog and share there experiences about training and what ever else is on there mind concerning their sport.
The first guest writer is Jessica Estrada. She is a CrossFitter, CrossFit Central coach and an Olympic lifter at Red Black Gym. Big things do come in small packages!

I started Oly Lifting with Zack in May of 2011. Out of all the CrossFit movements, Oly lifting was definitely my weakest. I knew that If I wanted to be a competitive crossfitter, I was going to have to spend a little extra time working the lifts. For awhile I walked around with the mentalality that It was going to be impossible to lift as much weight as most of the girls in CrossFit because of my size. After a weekend at the CrossFit Level 1 Cert, I realized that was just an excuse. All I needed was the right technique and my size would never be an issue. That's when I turned to Zack for coaching.

Before I started Oly lifting I had never done a clean and jerk and my snatch was an inconsistent 95#. Now, my clean and jerk max is 145# and my snatch is 120#....and this is only the beginning. It hasn't been until recently that things have really started to click. I feel that I am more comfortable and more confident with the lifts. I am making daily improvements in the gym. And even though technique still needs some work, I can honestly say that I understand the lifts. I no longer look at my size as a barrier. I've actually dropped weight (not intentionally) since starting Oly, but lifting much heavier. It's all about technique.

Side Note: Oly Lifting was a deciding factor for me when I was considering coaching CrossFit. I told myself I wouldn't be a coach until I understood the movements and could successfully teach them.