FrossCit!

Hey, it’s Clara, with a final reminder that FrossCit is on Aug. 5th and that Sat. 7/29 is the last day to register.

Also- I’m looking for a volunteer judge, since one of my judges can no longer be there. If you’re interested and able to help out, email me at clara.clemens@gmail.com. It would be much appreciated.

It should be a fun day filled with mimosas, beer, and sweat!

Want to Try Hot Yoga?

Well, you’re in luck. I’m a yoga teacher. And we have a hot garage.
Becca + Garage = Hot Yoga.

But seriously, this will be a fun event and a great way to get an even deeper stretch. Never done yoga or hot yoga? Don’t worry! Because of the hot nature of the room, our focus will be on holding the poses for a deep stretch rather than lots of abrupt movements, extensive flows, and getting up and down off the mat.

Join us MONDAY, JULY 31st at 7PM for our first ever HOT YOGA session.

Bring a large towel and plenty of water! Check on this link for other advice:

https://www.yogaoutlet.com/guides/tips-for-hot-yoga

Please read this link for a detailed and dramatic depiction of hot yoga if you’re bored and like to laugh:

https://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sea/2597736393.html

Purity Promise 2.0 (not to be confused with the Purity Promise you signed in middle school)

Yogic Principle: Purity.

So far we’ve discussed the 5 ethical principles of yoga (aka the Yamas). If we’re putting all these into practice we should begin to feel different–more relaxed, lighter, finding enjoyment in daily activities, etc. If you find yourself harboring feelings of jealousy, anger, resentment, frustration….have no fear. This is a journey. Continue to work.

Today we move on and discuss the Niyamas, ways in which we act within ourselves. First up, Purity.

Purity in the body: I hear people throw the word “toxins” around like it’s going out of style. What is a toxin? Free radicals? Carcinogens? Face cream? Diet coke? A toxin is anything that causes harm to our body. Personally, I don’t get caught up in the details of “chemicals” on my face when there are bigger toxins at play. I would much rather have a patient come off their blood pressure/diabetes medications because they “cleansed” their bodies with diet and physical exercise rather than refuse to use shampoo with the word “glycol” in it. More bang for your buck. (not to mention the whole evidenced-based thing) See my point?

CrossFit: CrossFit detoxifies the body through physical exercise. Kudos to all the 6 week challenge folks. I’ve heard there’s been some great results.

Purity of the mind: We’re all human and we do shitty things. (also anyone see the irony of me discussing purity while randomly cursing?) Purity comes into play when we can admit what a**holes we are. Whether you confess to your friends, your Instagram account, or a journal, confession can be a great way to detoxify your mind and move on.

CrossFit: No one cares what your score was, everyone cares if you cheated. Be pure and don’t cheat. If you accidentally miscount, you’re human (math is hard!). Clear your mind through confession (even if just to your bestie) and move on. Don’t forget that even if you don’t miscount, crappy reps are a form of impurity (squat below parallel son!).

Purity of space: Clutter is the worst for me. I can barely concentrate on a task without a clean space. Zane knows I can’t handle his “Zane piles” of magazines, scribbles of work-related notes, and Hindu print outs (he’s taking a class currently). I often tell him “everything has a place.” (And if it doesn’t, I’ll go to the Container Store and find it one).

CrossFit: Have you ever walked into the gym and thought wtf happened here? Handprints everywhere, KB/DB’s in the middle of the room, rope fragments laying everywhere? It’s a rare thing but it’s distracting when it happens. Why is it rare? Because Jared or someone he’s hired are cleaning up after us. Thank them for what they do to de-clutter our space so we can practice purity.

Purity of the moment: Have you ever had to re-read the same page of a book over and over because you didn’t actually pay attention to it? Well then you weren’t present. Have you ever had a friend complain to you about their problems and your immediate response is to TELL them what to do. Well then you weren’t practicing purity by being in the moment. Purity is about leaving your expectations and what you “wish” would happen at the door. Face reality and what’s before you.

CrossFit: So I sprained my ankle like whoa last weekend. I’ve never felt that much pain in my life and #uglycried like it was my job. The tears dried up after some ice and ibuprofen, but I’lll be honest…Sunday was filled with some “poor me” tears. Poor me for having to use those damn crutches. Poor me for not being able to workout, something I love. Poor me for having a torn meniscus and a busted ankle. But “wishing” things away isn’t living in the present. It’s not being at peace and being pure. There’s a lot to be said for the power of positivity. I’ll heel up soon (pun intended) and continue #armdayerrday

Stay positive ya’ll. Be pure.

Make like Frozen and Let It Go

Yogic Principle: Non-possessiveness

(Synonyms: non-attachment or non-coveting)

What we possess begins to possess us. That sounds super wise, but I stole it from a book. And it’s true. What things in your life are requiring most of your attention and energy? What’s eating you, Gilbert Grape?

1. Negativity: It could be something that is haunting you—a bad relationship, poor family dynamics, previous life choices that had real consequences, etc. Non-possessiveness invites us to ask why we cling to such things? Do they serve us? Don’t dwell on the past. Learn from it and LET IT GO!

2. It could be something that used to be positive—weight loss, getting promotions, compliments in general. Things that give us attention. Sure compliments are fine, but we all know someone who needs constant attention, compliments, or reassurance. That person is probably struggling with possessiveness. LET GO of the need for positive reinforcement. Know that you are enough.

Shall we apply to CrossFit?

1. Gotta love the concept of the Benchmark WODs. It makes perfect sense….it’s great to be able to retest yourself. Except if you’re someone who struggles with the ability to LET IT GO. For example, let’s say Megan had a horrible experience doing DT. So every time she sees the workout is DT she gets nervous, considers skipping class, and wonders if she can even complete it. Megan needs to LET IT GO. (Note: Megan is actually extremely great at DT in case you’ve never seen her throw that bar around).

2. The other day I had the pleasure of cheering on and recording Brooks PR his Clean & Jerk. I think I was more excited than he was. Sure, he told his Bro, Griffin, but he didn’t tell everyone who walked in the gym over and over. Brooks doesn’t need that. He doesn’t cling to (or possess) attention in order to feel good about himself.

For the next few days let’s practice non-possessiveness. How do we do it?

Trust. Generosity.

Trust that you’ll be ok once you LET GO of those things that aren’t serving a purpose in your life. Like a trapeze artist, sometimes you gotta LET GO before you can catch something new.

Be generous. Physical goods cause clutter. What possessions do you really need? Are there people who need it more than you? Attention doesn’t serve you. Stop and consider if there are there people who need the attention and the reassurance more than you.

For the next yogic principle and to be a better human, come to class on Monday at 7pm!

Supplement Q&A

I have gotten a few questions over my last post concerning supplements. I love that people are taking the time to read these posts and take an interest in it enough to become curious. Please keep asking questions. You can write comments on the post, ask me in person, or send me an email. If there are enough questions, I will make a post like this one to address them. Otherwise I may just reply to the comments.

Q: Will I gain weight when taking creatine?
A: It is possible to gain a couple of pounds when you first start taking creatine. Have no fear though. You are not getting fat all of a sudden. As your body stores up the creatine, you will also hold more water within your muscle. This is the reason for the weight gain that is seen. Stopping the creatine will lead to lower stores and therefore less water being held on to and the weight will come off. Having said all this, I urge you not to focus on the scale when determining your health and performance. These few pounds of water will not affect your performance, even gymnastics. The small change in bodyweight will be offset by the increased power output that the creatine provides. Actually, the increased bodyweight will help you to build more muscle and get used to that higher weight so when you shed the water you will be that much stronger.

Q: Is creatine safe?
A: Though most of the talk about creatine damaging kidneys has been proven false, there are a few important things to note. As I said earlier, you will store more water while taking creatine. This means you need to drink more water while taking it. I recommend drinking more water whenever you take any type of supplement as this will ease the work that is put on your kidneys. Having said that, creatine has not been found to be unsafe when taken in normal quantities (<10g/day).

Q: There is beta-alanine in my pre-workout and creatine in post-workout shake. Isn’t that good enough?
A: Unfortunately, with mixes such as pre- and post-workout shakes, the amount of the supplement is either unknown or less than the minimal dose. For example, many pre-workout powders will contain a “proprietary blend”. This basically allows the company to throw a bunch of crazy sounding ingredients together and not tell you the individual quantities of each. If it details how much beta-alanine is included, it will likely be around 1-1.5grams. Like I noted in the last post, you need closer to 6 grams daily to get any effect. Taking the pre-workout every once in a while will do nothing but give you some tingles so you think it is working. The same can be said for products containing creatine. There have been some drinks that recently advertise their inclusion of creatine. Once again, there is only about a gram of creatine in it. You would need to drink of these per day to get the recommended amount. This is why I highly suggest get the product by itself so you can monitor the actual dosage you are consuming each day.

Q: What’s so special about Blonyx’s products?
A: When I played football and ran track, I took both creatine and beta-alanine. However, I would get individual tubs of both and have to weigh out how much I took each time. Blonyx solves this problem by giving a pre-measured scoop so all you have to do is take one scoop in the morning and one scoop at night. Also, by splitting the dose across the day, you are less likely to experience some of the side effects, such as tingling with beta-alanine and stomach discomfort with creatine. Lastly, Blonyx’s products are clean. Just like we work with SFH because they only include the ingredients needed, Blonyx’s products contain only the supplement you desire. No added flavoring, sugar, or extraneous powder and root extracts. Simple, clean, and straight to the point. We have tubs of the Blonyx product on the main side of the gym for purchase. Just ask a coach if you are interested.

Hopefully, this cleared up some of the questions that people had. Again, continue to educate yourselves. Invest some time in to learning for your health and future. Comment, email (griffin@crossfitinfiltrate.com), and as always, stay hungry my friends.

The Problem with Netflix

Yogic Principle: Nonexcess

Most of us have binged on something at one point or another. Food. Netflix series. Lululemon (cough, cough, myself). The principle of nonexcess invites us to practice moderation and reflect not just on the things we binge on, but why.

So what else do we binge on? Material goods, yes. Sleep. Food. Money. Sex. Drugs/Alcohol. Even Exercise.

Student raises hand “But Becca, don’t we need these things to survive and for health & happiness?” Well young grasshopper, we sure do, but what happens when we tip over that edge from moderation to excess?

Too much sleep = groggy. Too much food = bloating/meat sweats (acute), obesity/disease (chronic). Too much alcohol/drugs = impairment of physical/mental capabilities (acute), job/family problems (chronic) Exercise = severe soreness, overuse injuries.

Why do we binge? Chasing the damn dragon. It’s looking to fill a void or get the same response we got the first time we used it. It’s about emotion, attachment, and trying to achieve something beyond our basic needs.

For the next few days, think about what you binge on. Be aware of it. Stop and ask yourself why you’re bingeing. Be mindful. Stop when your body has had what it needs.

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Supplementation

If you have been in the south gym lately, you likely will have noticed three things. First, there is a hole in the ceiling with water dripping down (it’s been a real headache for Jared, since the building maintenance has been not been doing this repair “for time”). Second, the whiteboard has been replaced with some fancy sheets of paper (small little explosive accident that will soon be remedied). Lastly, there is a new Blonyx banner hanging up in the corner. We recently partnered up with Blonyx to offer members products that can boost their performance. With so many supplements being sold by various companies in the fitness industry, I figured it would be a good idea to inform every one of which supplements have been proven to work, which ones do nothing more than turn your pee yellow, and which ones are actually a little scary. Naturally, I will start off with the products we have in the gym. However, don’t think that I am just attempting to sell these products to you; I am only educating you on what the research has shown. Feel free to do your own research, or use the links to studies I have posted below.

Although there are hundreds of thousands of supplements being sold, research has shown that very few of them actually have any sort of effect. Even still, the effect that is marketed may be limited to certain sub-population, such as elderly individuals or people with certain diagnoses. In order to figure out what products will work for the healthy athlete in the gym, you must look closely at what research has been done. In doing this, there are only just over a handful of products that are actually worth their value. I will begin with one of the most well-known and well-researched supplements, creatine.

There are many forms of creatine: creatine monohydrate, creatine esters, creatine salts, microionized creatine, etc. I am only going to focus on creatine monohydrate, as this has been proven to be the most effective. I could go into detail about the biochemistry behind creatine, but most of you would fall asleep before the end of the paragraph. To put it simply, creatine works by creating more ATP in your muscle cells. ATP is used to create energy to do work. This means you can generate more force and lift more weight. Specifically, creatine helps with explosive lifts such as the clean and jerk or the snatch. It also helps in low rep ranges for almost all movements, such as doing the CrossFit Total. By taking creatine, your muscles will be able to produce more power and you will be able to lift more weight. This will help to build more muscle to sustain that weight, so you will keep your strength even if you cycle off the creatine.

Like I said earlier though, there are some specifics to every product. You must have a certain amount of creatine for it to be effective. The easiest way to do it is to take at least 5 grams of creatine per day. The effect will not be immediate, as it will take some time for the creatine to store up in your body. Most people will starting feeling the difference in the second and third weeks. This also means that you cannot expect to take a gram of creatine every so often and see results. You must commit to taking it for a little while to see gains in performance. SFH has a product called Strong that contains the necessary 5 grams of creatine. Blonyx also has a product specifically for this. The directions are simple. Take a scoop in the morning and a scoop a night. No need to weigh it out or worry that you’re not actually getting the full required amount. This is because there are only two ingredients to this product, and the other ingredient makes me pretty excited.

The product made by Blonyx is called HMB + Creatine. HMB stands for hydroxymethylbutyrate and it’s a breakdown product of the amino acid leucine. HMB works through various signaling pathways to decrease muscle breakdown. Basically, as you workout, you breakdown muscle. This is why you feel sore the next day (or the whole next week depending on the workout). HMB decreases this breakdown to help you feel less sore and ready to go for your next workout. Just like creatine, it is a long term product. You must take it daily overtime to feel these results. HMB only requires 1-3 grams per day, however. In Blonyx’s product, you will get 3 grams for the day. This combination of HMB and creatine has me excited. Combining decreased muscle breakdown (less soreness) with increased muscle building kills two birds with one stone. Expect to see some gains made with this one. Jared took Blonyx Creatine + HMB in the year leading up to qualifying for the CrossFit Games, and it has his full stamp of approval which is often-times few and far between.

The last supplement I will discuss is much less known by its name. However, there is an interesting side effect that some people may know. If you have ever taken a pre-workout and felt tingling on your face or down your arms, you have experienced one of the side effects of beta-alanine. Beta-alanine does something interesting in the body. It helps to buffer acid build-up in muscle. Think of lactic acid production and the burning you feel while working out. Beta-alanine helps to decrease this burn and provide an optimal environment for your muscles to function efficiently. The most gain is seen during activity that lasts between 1-3 minutes, or medium rep range lifting. I used to take beta-alanine when I ran track and loved the difference it made. Just as before, the product requires a storage to build up and therefore must be taken over time. Doses of 3-6 grams daily have found to be the most effective. With Blonyx Beta-Alanine, you will consume 3 grams twice per day. This lower single dose taken with food will help to reduce the tingling side effect.

These three supplements have some of the most research behind them proving an increased performance. Whether you are seeking higher maxes, faster times, or just better body composition, these three can be a major help. If you have any questions about the products, just ask me or Jared. We will also be posting some informative flyers around the gym. Next week, I will discuss the rest of the supplements that have been proven effective for health and performance. Then, I will get into some of the most commonly used supplements that either do nothing or don’t work the way most people think they do. Until next week, stay hungry my friends.

Resources:
Creatine-
https://examine.com/supplements/creatine/
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/10591062_Effect_of_Creatine_Supplementation_on_Body_Composition_and_Performance_A_Meta-analysis

HMB-
https://examine.com/supplements/hmb/
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280058939_Effect_of_beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate_supplementation_on_muscle_loss_in_older_adults_A_systematic_review_and_meta-analysis

Beta-Alanine-
https://examine.com/supplements/beta-alanine/
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/255690345_The_Effects_of_Beta-Alanine_Supplementation_on_Performance_A_Systematic_Review_of_the_Literature

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Nonstealing

Thou shalt not steal. Cool, we get it. Don’t rob someone’s house.

Let’s apply it to CrossFit. Don’t steal Jared’s KBs and put them in your basement. Also easy enough.

But nonstealing is more than just stealing in a physical sense. We steal from ourselves, each other, and the world in a more spiritual way.

Ourselves:

Zane’s feeling tired today. When he goes to class he’s only going to do the bare minimum. In fact, he might say he did all 150KB swings but really he only did 140.

Obviously this isn’t how Zane really acts. But in this scenario he’s stealing from himself by not giving himself the opportunity to perform. Missed potential is stealing from yourself and can only set you back instead of propelling yourself forward. Why would Zane want to cheat reps? Is he too fatigued? Is he mentally not invested today? Is he insecure of how he’ll look if his fiance beats him? Rep cheating is a symptom of a greater problem…

Each Other:

Nick: “Guess what, yesterday I finally PR’d my clean and jerk! I’m so excited I can’t wait to hit 200.”

Griffin: “Nice. I remember when I hit 200. I hit 580 the other day though and am going to go to Nationals soon.”

In this hypothetical situation, Griffin is being a tool because he’s totally stealing Nick’s thunder. He’s drawing the attention away from Nick and onto himself. Everyone deserves a time to shine when they reach their goals! Note: Griffin is not a tool and cannot deadlift let alone C&J 580.

The World:

Anything we use, from trees and gasoline, to our cars and apartments, to barbells and Abmats, are things temporarily in our possession. We steal from them, simply through daily wear and tear. Nonstealing invites us to care for things in our possession and prolong their functionality for as long as possible.

For the next few days, be cognizant of the gym equipment…care for your barbell, don’t drop metal weights, and don’t let the handle hit the rower. Clean up after yourself and put things away. If you’re tempted to cheat reps or “pad your score” don’t do it. Instead, ask yourself why you feel the urge to do so and address that.

Don’t forget yoga resumes tonight at 7pm in the South Gym!

You Can Handle the Truth!

Yogic Principle: Truthfulness

Truth is complicated and fluid. We’ve all lied and probably for good reasons (think: “does this make my butt look big?”) The principle of truthfulness is not some guide to when you should lie and when to be honest, but rather, it asks us to bring our attention to when we lie and why; in addition, who do we lie to? By lying, are we missing an opportunity to grow?

The coaches practice truthfulness with us everyday. Their job is to keep us safe and give us a good workout. I’ll never forget a year or two back when Eileen Cantrell got super truthful with a guy who dropped in a few times to our gym. He would come in, take other peoples equipment, and try to do more weight and more skilled movements than he should. It was distracting for everyone because we all thought he was going to hurt himself or one of us. She pulled him aside, things got real, and the problem was solved. (Thus proving she is a saint and also a badass)

Being truthful with ourselves is also important. We shouldn’t have to put the coaches in this situation. If we’re trying to do too much, let’s slow down and ask ourselves why? What are we trying to prove? Not being truthful without ourselves can compromise our safety and acts as a masquerade of who we are. Sara Jackson and I jokingly talk about the importance of percentages in Olympic Lifting class. In our opinion, without those percentages, raging testosterone would probably get the men all jacked up and everyone would be trying to max out all day every day.

Likewise, if we don’t push ourselves, we are missing an opportunity to grow. I’ve seen several great examples on SugarWOD of people posting “thanks for pushing me” or “thanks for forcing me to do RX.” April Moore, Natalie Macy, and Katie Nelson definitely stand out in my mind as 3 badasses who have really progressed in their time at Infiltrate. There’s nothing wrong with scaling workouts, but eventually we need to check-in and realize we are capable. As our bodies continue to grow, so should our choices!

For the next few days, practice being truthful with yourself. Give yourself an extra push to try something new if you’re ready. If you’re not sure-ask a coach! Likewise, if you’re fatigued or coming back from an injury, ask if you really should be doing so much. One workout isn’t worth compromising your physical health.