Sunday, August 26, 2012

CrossFit: In No Uncertain Terms

"WOD"? "Farmers' Walks"? "Cindy"? "Push Press"?

CrossFit terminology can be confusing to those new to the sport. Quite often, I show up to the box, look at the whiteboard for the the day's workout and have no idea what several of the movements are. So I have decided to periodically include in this blog simple definitions of the movements, workouts and other terminology associated with CrossFit. Hopefully it will inspire you to integrate some of these movements into your own workouts. New movements are a great way to keep your workouts fresh and challenging!

Here are a few basic terms to get us started:

The "workout of the day".

A workout where the time is fixed and you are to do "As Many Rounds As Possible" of the days' movements within the allotted time.

For example: in a 15 min AMRAP of:
- 10 pushups,
- 20 situps,
- 30 jumping jacks,
Doing all of the movements in the order mentioned is ONE round. Keep track as you go, and when time is called, record the number of ROUNDS you were able to complete.

"For Time"
A workout in which the rounds are fixed and your goal is to complete the number of rounds as fast as possible with good form.

For example: if you were to do SIX ROUNDS of:
- 25 pushups,
- 35 situps,
- 50 jumping jacks,
You would look at the clock and record your time after you complete the above list SIX TIMES.

"Farmers' Walk"
To walk a certain distance as fast as possible while carrying a heavy object in each hand. (This movement is modeled after farmers, who are accustomed to walking long distances while carrying buckets of water or bags of feed.) There are several variations to this movement, but the basic uses heavy dumbbells or kettlebells. The objective is to go heavy enough so that you feel the urge to put them down. If you can do the entire distance without feeling a burn, you need heavier weights. This is a cardio and strengthening movement that works trapezius (upper back/neck area), core, forearms and hand-gripping muscles.

Hope you enjoy this new series called "CrossFit 101"! And whether it's new, healthful foods, new workouts or even new workout clothes, this is a lifelong journey, so do what you can to keep it fresh!!

Fresh Foodie

Thursday, August 16, 2012

CrossFit NYC: The Black Box

Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt. Literally.

I went to "The Big Apple" for a convention this past weekend and my friends invited me to join them on their visit to the CrossFit gym in Manhattan called "The Black Box".

We were driving in from ten hours away and trying to make it to the last class of the day, so time was of the essence. $12 in tolls and a few traffic jams later, I found the address, took the elevator up to the right floor and clumsily stumbled into the box with 5 min to spare.

There were several classes going on at once and I could see my friends warming up and stretching in the back as they waited for our class to start.

I borrowed cash to pay the $25 "drop-in fee". (I was informed that taking a credit card was possible, but a hassle.) I thought the price was very steep for one work out, but I was promised a CrossFit NYC T-shirt and a chance to "WOD" with my friends from Chicago in New York City, so I was in.

The Black Box has classes divided by experience level. We decided to take a beginners class. The WOD for the day was 3-3-3 push press at 75% of max and a game of tug of war. Seemed easy enough. Actually, it was too easy. We barely broke a sweat, but it was fun nonetheless.

I couldn't believe how much of a workout tug of war is! My friend and I were the only girls in class, so the coach chose us as team captains. We chose our team members gym class style and got in position. Our teams were pretty even. We had a good long battle going on for a while there before my team was declared winner of the first round. We dropped players one by one and switched up the teams a couple times. Rope burns were had. Egos were bruised. But it was so much fun!

I would definitely recommend that CrossFitters drop into another box when on vacation. Call ahead for info and request that a free shirt promoting that box be included with the drop-in WOD fee. How cool is it to have a collection that reflects your travels! Check the schedule online and confirm the correct location. Most of all, have fun!

WODing on the road? What a great way to keep it fresh!!

Fresh Foodie

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Eating Clean and Training Mean

Guess who's back? Back again... Great, now I'm gonna have that song in my head....

Hello to my Fellow Fresh Foodies!!

It's been over a year since I even logged into my Fresh Foodie channel on you tube or this blog.  I had to think long and hard just to remember the passwords.  But here I am, once again, ready to start over. 
This has been a crazy year.  I moved 3 times, lived and studied abroad for a few months, all the time struggling with health issues.  At the beginning of this summer, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I'm 31, way too young to feel this rotten almost all of the time. 

Some friends of mine have been raving about their CrossFit workouts and how much fun they had.  I noticed that instagram has a thriving weight loss community and many of them were raving about CrossFit as well.  I looked it up and found out there was a gym (or as CrossFitters call them: a BOX) near me.  I was told I could have two free trial visits and see if I liked it.  I was hooked. I did the trial visits the last week of June,  signed up at the beginning of July and have never stopped going.  CrossFit is a PERFECT way to keep your workouts fresh.  You never do the same workout twice unless its a "Benchmark" or "Hero" WOD that you are revisiting to see how your fitness has improved since the last time you tried it.  My membership is for two days a week and I supplement it with two Crossfit home workouts per week as well.
After a WOD in my local BOX

Doing research and getting excited!
But, as we all know, what we take in is the most important part of trying to lose fat for good.  The recommended eating plan for Crossfitters is the paleolithic diet, (also known as "caveman" or paleo).  But as a vegetarian, this eating plan was far too meat-centric for my lifestyle.  So, I once again turned to the instagram weight loss community to see what they were eating.  And that is where I found out about "Eating Clean".  I went to the library, borrowed "The Eat-Clean Diet" and read it from cover to cover.  It's an easy read with lots of helpful suggestions and explanations. I eat 4 to 5 small, "clean" meals per day.  I try to make sure there are no more than 3 or 4 hours between each meal. And I stop eating 3 hours before bed.
Yes, I took the book with me to the grocery store,
It has a great pantry list inside.
Grocery Haul after my first Eat Clean grocery shop

I do everything on my iPhone these days, and tracking my eating and weight loss is definitely one of those things.  I have found four apps to be especially helpful (and fun) to use.  Here are my four faves of the summer so far:

#4: TimerCam
This is a self-timer camera app.  It can be set to 5, 10, 15 or 30 seconds and can use the front or back camera on the iPhone.  This is the app I use to take my body shot progress pictures (and outfits of the day for my lifestyle channel.)
TimerCam Icon

OOTD Shot for other channel

#3: PicFrame
This is the app that helps make collages with the option to add labels, filters and backrounds.  Its a fast and easy way to tell a story of several pictures with just one upload.  I can show ingredients along with the finished meal, WOD (workout of the day) along with my #sweatyface or before and after shots. The possibilities are endless!
Example of one day of Eat Clean Meals
After a WOD at the Box,
WOD and #sweatyface

#2: WorkoutHero
What the app icon and
welcome screen looks like.
These are collages made using the
WorkoutHero app along with PicFrame.
Here is what the screen looks like
 after you enter a WOD into the system.
Most crossfitters have a notebook at the gym where they keep track of their workouts along with details like finishing times, weights and reps. This is the app that helps me keep track of my workouts.

#1: Instagram!!
Of course!  This app helps share my pictures with the online weight loss community.  There, other members with similar interests can share encouragement and suggestions.  You can add filters and link to your Twitter and Facebook accounts for ease of sharing with your other social networks. I post pictures of meals, workouts, grocery hauls and more.  I post several pictures every day, so this is the fastest and easiest way to stay up to date in between blog posts and YouTube videos, which I don't do very often.
My profile page. Follow me and see my daily updates!


The first month on my new plan, my challenge was to turn "the basics" into a habit.  I Eat Clean 4-5 times per day and do a CrossFit WOD 2 times per week at the BOX and 2 times per week on my own. 
Here are my results:
Find this picture on my instagram and
it has all of the stats in the caption!
Exceeded my WOD goal!

AUGUST 2012: THE BASICS + ....Portion Sizes
The current 31 day challenge is for the month of August! The goals are the same as the BASICS challenge, but with a special emphasis on PORTION SIZES!

Whether you join me, someone else's challenge or make a challenge of your own, let's continue to challenge ourselves and, as always, keep it fresh!

Fresh Foodie