Workout Wednesdays: CrossFit

workout wednesdays crossfit

Workout Wednesdays highlight a specific exercise or area of exercise, what it is, how it’s done and what you’ll get from it.

Today I’m exploring CrossFit. CrossFit is training program developed by Greg Glassman. The term “CrossFit” applies to the exercise regimen, the community that participates and it’s also a brand name.  According to the CrossFit website “[t]he aim of CrossFit is to forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness. We have sought to build a program that will best prepare trainees for any physical contingency”.¹

CrossFit focuses on building strength and endurance through activities like lifting of kettlebells, sand bags, olympic barbells and plymetric activities like box jumping.  It’s not meant to be sport or activity specific, but instead focuses on high intensity movement and lifting to create a well rounded participant.

CrossFit has it’s own set of unique terminology. Here are a few examples of words or phrases you might see when it comes to CrossFit:

WOD – Workout of the day, sometimes referred to as “the girls” because the original set of workouts are all names after women
Box – A gym or location where CrossFit workouts take place
BW – Body weight
PR – Personal record

For more definitions you can visit the CrossFit FAQ page.

Gear to Bring

Being prepared is the best way to get any exercise session off to a good start.  The gear needed for CrossFit is dependent on the specific exercises selected.  CrossFit typically uses body weight or fairly common exercise equipment.  Gear may include, but is not limited to:

  • Olympic weights
  • Pull up bar
  • Box or adjustable stand for jumping
  • Parallettes

How to do It
A WOD (workout of the day) is posted on the CrossFit website each and every day.  You certainly don’t have to follow this WOD, but a lot of CrossFit gyms will go by this or some may make up their own set of exercises to follow.  To complete your workout you’ll start with a warm up and then go through the WOD as prescribed, making accommodations for ability level or equipment as necessary, followed by a cool down.

You may hear about the girls.  The girls are the original workouts created by Greg Glassman, now referred to as benchmark workouts.  These include routines like Barbara, Fran, Helen, Karen and Amanda.  Each workout has it’s own focus and instructions for completion.  There is also a set of Hero routines that honor fallen members of the military.

To review The Girls and The Heroes routines go here.

Benefits and Wrap Up
So now that you’ve learned a little bit about CrossFit let’s talk about the benefits.  When done correctly, with an eye on safety, CrossFit can yield benefits like increased muscle mass, fat/weight loss, increased strength and increased speed.

I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss the dangers associated with CrossFit.  Like any other high intensity program, CrossFit can have serious consequences if not done with care.  CrossFit can be very intense and because of that it sometimes gets a bad rap.  It is very important that you listen to your body when participating in CrossFit or any other exercise activity.  Lifting excessive weight or performing excessive reps of any exercise, in any program, can be detrimental to your health.   If do not feel you can safely perform the activities of a CrossFit routine then you should immediately discontinue your participation and look to alternate types of programs.

CrossFit can be a fun and intense way to get a great workout, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

Remember, you absolutely must check with your doctor before engaging in CrossFit, high intensity training or any other type of fitness program.  This type of workout can be very strenuous and while it can be tailored to suit your abilities, it is not appropriate for everyone so you should ensure you are safely able to participate before trying it out.

Resources
1. CrossFit.com, What Is CrossFit?, http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/what-is-crossfit.html
2. Nerd Fitness http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2012/03/01/a-beginners-guide-to-crossfit/

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Friday Finds 7-10-15

Friday Finds from Former Fitness Flunky

It’s finally Friday!  I’ve been reading all sorts of great stuff the last few weeks.  Below you’ll find a handful of articles that stuck with me.    I hope you find these as useful, interesting or thought provoking as I did:

Fitness

The App That’s Better Than a Personal Trainer
I won’t disagree that there are cheaper ways to get in shape, but a personal trainer is not just providing motivation because of their cost. Yes, they do answer questions, yes they do teach you how to use equipment, but there is more to it that that. A good personal trainer won’t just teach you the how, they’ll teach you the why. They’ll design a program based on your goals, they’ll modify your routine on the fly based on your needs, they’ll motivate you at the instant you need motivation, they’ll correct your form as you go and so many other things. Can you get in shape using an app or a video or a printed program? Of course you can, but it will never be the same experience you’d have when working with a trained professional.

Food

Everblasting Life
Ever seen those infomericals for the Nutribullet?  They make it seems like the Nutribullet does something special.  So does it really? This author gives in and tries it.  I haven’t ever used a Nutribullet, as I am a huge Vitamix fan.  I have been caught up in the commercials though.  Their claims seem fantastic, but fantastic in a way that makes you wonder if what they’ve got is somehow better than whatever you currently use.  The only thing that seems really appealing is the format.  The single cup-like container for blending seems much easier to deal with than the bigger blenders.

10 Tips to Give Your Vegetables a Long and Happy Shelf Life
With summer in full swing and the bounty from farmer’s markets and home gardens beginning to increase, it’s a perfect time to learn about how to keep all those veggies fresh and tasty. The Vegetable Butcher offers tips from where to store them to how to revive them if they’ve hung around a bit too long.

More

Is My Massage Therapist Judging My Body?
When you’re stripping down for a massage and you’re covered only by a sheet then feelings of self-consciousness might pop up. I thought this was a good article because all of us have those moments when we think we might be judged and sometimes we even avoid places where we feel like this might happen. Your massage therapist has seen hundreds, if not thousands, of bodies – some better and some worse than yours. They most likely don’t care and aren’t giving it a second thought. I hope this article gives someone the courage to seek out this or other similar therapy if they’ve been avoiding it out of self-consciousness.
I hope you enjoy these articles and have a wonderful weekend!

 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

The Ultimate Coffee Date – July Edition

Ultimate-Coffee-Date-Badge-e1416682466503Today I’ve decided to join in the fun of the Ultimate Coffee Date link up. This link up is hosted by LyndaDeborah and Coco.  Please visit them and the other link up participants to learn more and catch up with what everyone is up to.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I should be going gluten-free, but I am having a really hard time living with that.  I have felt terrible on and off for a long time and after quite a lot of diagnostics gluten looks like it may be the root of my issues.  While I know that I can live without it and have even done so in the past (hello, Whole30!) I’m fighting this change really hard even though I know it’s not good for me.

tomatoes_mini strawberry_miniIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m really excited to start a new 5k training program.  I was recently contacted by a company to test out and review their new 5k training program.  As you may know, I am NOT a runner.  I love walking, but running has never been my thing.  I don’t feel like running is a necessity in a fitness program, but sometimes it seems like it could be fun.  This program will hopefully give me a chance to work up to actually running a distance.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that gardening is like my new zen therapy.  I always wanted to garden.  In fact, I wanted to buy a house just to have the space to do it.  It took 5 years to actually get going, but now that I’ve started I am in love.  I’ve already figured out that in my garden space growing stuff like lettuce and radishes may not be worth the trouble, but the tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and strawberries are well worth it, as are all the fresh herbs.  Garden is striking all kinds of chords for me – self-sufficiency, accomplishment, healthy eating.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’m glad it’s finally summer, but I will never love the heat.  I’ll be even happier when it starts to get cooler again, though I hate wishing the days away.

If we were having coffee what would you tell me? :)

Have a happy Fourth of July!
About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Foodie Friday: Healthy Recipe Round Up June 2015 Edition

Foodie Friday_mini

Happy Friday! Today I want to share a bunch of really great recipes I have been swooning over.

From The Domestic Man: Bam Bam Shrimp

You may or may not know about my love of Russs Crandall’s recipes, but believe me when I tell you this guy is onto something good. Whether you eat paleo or not, Crandall’s recipes use wholesome, whole ingredients to make healthy dishes that taste amazing. Crandall’s latest cookbook, Paleo Takeout, was recently released and features 200+ recipes including this Bam Bam Shrimp.  If you’re not familiar with Russ Crandall, I highly suggest you check him out.

From Nick Kindelsperger at Serious Eats: Gallo Pinto

If you’ve ever been to Costa Rica then you’re probably familiar with one of their most popular dishes, gallo pinto.  What is it you ask?  Simply, it’s black beans and rice, but really it’s so much more tasty than just those two things.  Like any popular recipe there are tons and tons of versions and everyone will judge the authenticity based on their own experiences.  For me this gallo pinto recipe really nailed it.  Kindelsperger admits that he is not familiar with Lizano and uses Worcestershire sauce as a stand-in.  I have tried this recipe both with Lizano and Worcestershire and both are great; the Lizano version just tastes a little more authentic to me.  If you aren’t acquainted with this condiment get yourself over to Amazon and see if you can find some.  While the flavors do resemble that of Worcestershire sauce, it’s thicker, a little more sweet and has even more depth.  You can put it on just about anything and believe me when I tell you it’s good enough to have hauled half gallon jugs back in stuffed suitcases on more than one occasion.

Artichokes
Pixabay

From Smitten KitchenCrispy Frizzled Artichokes

I had my first artichoke when I was 12 and have been nuts about them ever since.  When I saw this recipe for crispy frizzled artichokes I immediately realized that I had been making a gross error by not trying out those cute little baby artichokes in the clam shells I always see at Trader Joe’s.  Once I saw that you could eat nearly the whole little choke I was hooked.  The recipe calls for a sprinkle of lemon juice to finish, but if you’re feeling more decadent I suggest dipping these crispy beauties in homemade mayo with a dash of curry powder.

From A Girl Worth SavingPaleo Chicken and Dumplings

The season is probably not quite right for this recipe for some, but I’ve never minded a hot dish in the summer.  When I recently discovered that I was looking at making some major dietary changes I started looking for updated versions of food that I thought I might never get to enjoy again.  Enter this chicken and dumpling recipe.  It has all the goodness of home cooking without some of the ingredients that are bothersome to those with food restrictions.

I am a recipe collector of sorts and my bookmarks are brimming with both good for you and less than healthy recipes that I am anxious to try. I hope you enjoy the recipe round-up for today and if you have an excellent, healthier recipe posted on your site please feel free to leave a comment below!

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Picking Yourself up When You’ve Been Down

Work OutDespite my knowledge, background and skills, I am not immune to falling off the wagon.  I am not infallible when it comes to diet and fitness.  I am not perfect.  Sometimes I’m not even good at it.  I am human.  I accept this and because of that I can get over it and move on.

Sometimes things in life come up and disrupt your good intentions.  This has been my issue for the past couple of months.  After not feeling well for quite a while I let my diet wander (which is a nice way to say I totally ate whatever, whenever) and I abandoned any consistent exercise program.  I just couldn’t muster the energy or desire to do it.

After deciding my jeans were getting a bit too snug I’ve opted to work on improving my situation. Here’s how I’m doing it:

Making a plan

To get back to the place I think I would feel better at I’m making a plan.  My plan includes a checklist of exercises with sets and reps so I can check them off as I do them.  My plan also includes a little more discretion about when I eat.  I am not really limiting myself from any particular food, I’m just setting clear meal times with no snacking in between.   A big source of calories for me came from grazing and it’s just not necessary.  I need to refocus my eating so that I don’t constantly expect food.

Easing back into things

Jumping back into a full exercise program right away wouldn’t be healthy or feasible.  More likely than not, I would probably just give up.  Instead I am easing back into things by picking a few basic exercises and doing them consistently for the first couple of weeks.  Once I am used to doing a set program again I can add on or re-tailor my routine to fit my new goals.

Not beating myself up

What’s done is done and since I don’t have a time machine to undo the damage, it doesn’t make sense to beat myself up over what happened.  I’m only looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.

Not taking drastic measures

Drastic measures aren’t going to cut it.  Starving myself or working out extra hard might (or might not!) get me back to where I want to be quickly, but at what cost?  Instead I am taking the educated, calculated approach of doing things step by step in a reasonable and safe manner.

Are changes going to happen overnight?  Nope.  But at least I know that I’ve overcome this obstacle once or twice in the past.  Getting off track isn’t the end of the world and all it takes is some planning and refocusing to get back where I want to be.

Have you ever gotten off track?  What did you find most helpful in getting back to where you wanted to be?
About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.