Focus on One Puzzle Piece at a Time

By: 0

In a perfect world, we would all be blessed with proper balance, muscle activation equal to both sides, and core stability. Few are naturally given this symbiotic structural balance.  
 
CrossFit does help improve many areas of fitness but not all of them. Those with nagging injuries, muscular imbalances, and poor activation we may need a training model that focuses more in muscular isolation. 
 
OCF Body & Shred are versions of functional bodybuilding. Many of us hear the word bodybuilding and think aesthetics. You know, ripped abs, and front double bicep pose Arnold style.  
 
The truth is isolation work found in body building can be bring up lagging areas to make the body as a whole much more balanced, rehab injury, and in fact reduce the chances of injury. 
 
The body is a very interesting machine. When fixing your car, if your engine needs work, you would you put more work in the engine, not just the car as a whole. Functional bodybuilding is no different.  
 
After nearly 10 years of working with CrossFit athletes, our program was designed to not only make you look amazing, but to injury proof your body and possibly rehab lagging areas that we have seen time and time again in CrossFit. 
 
This is not only for super competitive athletes but athletes that would like to be more balanced and stable. This will lead to better overall performance in the CrossFit. 
 
Breaking up the puzzle, fixing a piece or two and then laying it all out together will be the ideal way for you to feel great while having longevity in your fitness and overall wellness. 
-Coach Angelo

Nutrition, Weight-Training, and Cardio – A 3-Legged Stool

By: 0

Nutrition, Resistance Training (aka weight training), and Cardio are like a 3-legged stool.  They are all important in reaching your goals and you cannot have the stool with only 1, or even 2 of the legs.   We’ve all heard the saying, “You can't out-train a bad diet”, and for the majority of the population, this is true.  Nutrition is THE most important leg of this stool, especially for beginners. This may be a personal opinion, but I bet you’d find some good research to back it up, here is the order of importance on these 3 legs of the stool:   #1 - Nutrition Training is simply in vain if you do not have a proper diet to go with it.  With beginners, you are even MORE likely to see larger progress with nutrition change than with a training program change.
  • Problem #1 - You may be eating too much. The “bulky” look that all females are afraid to get from weight training.  It doesn’t actually come from the weight training, it comes from eating too much.   You need to eat just the right amount to develop and maintain muscle, but not develop any additional fat.  This is why nutrition is so important.
  • Problem #2 - You’re eating too little. Muscle tissue NEEDS calories to grow and maintain.  It is also more active than fat tissue.  So the more you have, the faster your metabolism is.  Muscle tissue actually burns calories at rest to maintain itself.  So you WANT muscle, and muscle needs calories, but the right amount.
  • Problem #3 - You aren’t eating the right types of foods. The types of foods you are eating can be just as important as the amount of foods you are eating.  High-sugar, chemically-ridden foods can cause inflammation in the body and lots of bloating (aka feeling and looking puffy).  Eat a diet of whole, unprocessed foods and reap the rewards!
  #2 - Resistance Training Weight training, or any type of resistance training is the #1 way to train to get leaner.  You simply do not build muscle doing only cardio.  Cardio can actually have a NEGATIVE effect on building muscle (see below about cardio). For our muscles to grow and develop, we must challenge them.  That means lifting weights that feel challenging, and doing sets of reps that almost get to failure!  When we push our muscles to their limits, they will need to burn more calories to repair them and rebuild them stronger.  Meaning we are growing and maintaining our current muscle at the same time as we are burning fat to restore them.  A double win in my book! So next time you want to grab the “light” pair of dumbbells, consider pushing yourself today, and tomorrow…   #3 - Cardio The “holy grail” that we all hold so dear to our hearts.  Cardio definitely has its place in burning fat, and it can make us feel great at the end of the workout, but sadly the majority of common gym-goers WAY overdo the cardio.   Cardio helps to get your heart-rate up which can help to burn additional calories, but keep it in small doses. Remember above how we talked about how cardio can have a negative effect on muscle growth?   We’ll give you an example… You know all those girls at the gym that sit on the treadmill for 45 minutes every day and look the same?  That’s because excessive cardio (aka 45+ minutes of steady state) becomes catabolic to your body.  It will start to eat your muscle for fuel instead of food recently eaten or fat stores.     So next time you finish up your workout and think, “Let’s get some tacos, we deserve it”, think about the gains your hoping for and the goals you’re working towards.  All 3 are important and it can’t work without any of them!   -Coach Becca

Just Let it Flow

By: 0

I swear we lose our minds with the amount of time and energy we spend worrying about things that are out of our control.  In a world where instant gratification is the new norm…. We know what we want and we want it now!  Unfortunately, when things don't go our way, we obsess over the possible reasons why or fall into a state of self pity, misery.   You CAN change this so that you spend your time on things that you ARE in control of.  Worry less and let it evolve, whatever “it” may be.  The moment you focus more on the positive, instead of the negative, everything will fall into place the way its suppose to.   Take a step back, and just let it flow.  In fact, take the opportunity to use that time you would have spent fixated on the uncertainty of a situation, towards something useful that IS in your control.  For instance, do something you’ve been wanting to try or start a project you have been postponing.  This will serve as a surefire way of feeling more at-ease and provide an amazing opportunity to appreciate the good things in life by being good to yourself first.

#17.DONE – What now?

By: 0

What do we do now?   Most have us have experienced the CrossFit Open’s for our first time this year.  Whether that was during a Friday Night Lights event or one of our Friday classes.  The Opens are a very special thing for CrossFit athletes.  They signify the beginning of the Games season.  They are the culmination of the past training year, all the two-three-and four-a-days, the long work outs early in the morning by your lonesome with Phil Collins blaring out of the speakers.  But for us mere mortals, us normal folk who attend a class every day or every other day, what do we do now?   Most of us are not Regionals athletes, and that is more than okay.  We come in day after day working on the finer things in our programs, getting stronger and more efficient.  We prepare ourselves for the world outside of our CrossFit fortress.  But now is a critical time, for all of us.  Some skill or some movements may have exposed a weakness or inability to perform under duress.     This is a perfect time to start mapping out your next coming months, to sit down with your head coach and really dig into what your goals are moving forward.  Some of us may need to dial in the nutrition, or some of us may need to become more efficient with our gymnastics.  Everyone has different goals and we all want to get better, so why not take some time to reflect about what the Opens did for you and see where you may have some holes that can be filled in.     I encourage all of you to explore what your personal definition of fitness is, and what new standards that definition holds for these next coming months.  Explore opportunities with our coaches, think about taking on the challenge of a personal accessory program or even individual programming.   Now is the time to start moving forward and onward, to a bigger and brighter future.  I am proud of all my OCF Warriors, for not just attacking but moving past with persistence and pride, through the 2017 CrossFit Open’s.  Let’s set the plan, TOGETHER, to make you a better version of yourself for 2018!!!   Coach Zach

How do you measure health?

By: 0

I had the pleasure of getting a general physical this morning; something that I haven't done in maybe 5 or 6 years. Something that is asked to be completed about once a year, with more importance the older that you get.    I had no expectations walking into this; I just knew it was something necessary being that health professionals recommend it yearly.  I mean what do I have to lose. I feel good everyday, minus aches and soreness from workouts. I sleep well the majority of nights through the week. My diet is generally good.  I have no problems moving around, but I do have some family history of cancer, heart disease, and kidney issues.   Through the course of my 45 minutes at the doctor’s office, I found out some pretty cool things today. I have a really low resting heart rate, which was actually hard for the doctors to detect. I have really low blood pressure, almost worrisome but at a very healthy number compared to my heart rate. My cholesterol numbers were great, and all of my blood work was, in my doctor’s words, "remarkable".    In times past, I'd measure my health based off of the lack of being sick through the course of the year by avoiding the common cold or a case of the flu, the amount of money spent on vitamins or supplements, my improvements in workouts that I've already tested, or simply by how clothes fit me. Now I have actual hard data that says I'm healthy. Real numbers from medical testing that says so.    I've tried my best to take care of myself, and tried my best to explain to people that this whole OCF thing is more than fitness it's a lifestyle. I guess I have the numbers to prove it now.  I have the ability to show my family that through my hard work, the funny looks for the food I eat regularly, and the amount of time I spend moving and sweating have proven more useful than I could have ever expected.   I am a man that is scared beyond measure of what illness can do to a person, let alone a family.  I witnessed it first hand; I witnessed my family being blown up by a mortar the size of a quarter inside my father’s brain.  Those feelings have never left me, so maybe that’s why I work so arduously day in and day out.  Either way, I have the doctor’s on my side to tell me that what I’ve been doing is right.   Coach Zach  

Nutrient Timing – Does it matter when you eat your food?

By: 0

Don’t eat after 6 pm.   You have a 2-hour “FREE” window after workouts to eat whatever you want, without any negative effects.   It is better to eat your carbohydrates earlier in the day rather than at night.   How do we know what to believe when there are SO MANY different opinions out there??   There are some very long standing ‘myths’ out there that I’d like to go over, and hopefully clear up some common questions I get about nutrient timing.  What I mean by nutrient timing is when you eat what throughout the day or in other words, when you take in your carbohydrates, your fats, and your proteins.     Point #1 - Late night eating does not make you fat.  Your body is not on a 24-hour clock.  What matters is how much you ingest vs. how much you burn over time.     Typically the main reason people believe in this myth is more due to the types of food they are eating late at night, rather than the sole fact that they are eating at night.     Does this sound familiar? You come home after work and are both stressed and ravenous.  You start picking at foods while you’re making dinner, you eat your dinner, and then you are in a quest for something sweet to cure your cravings.  So you eat half the bag of chocolate chips in your baking cabinet because you don’t have any other chocolate in the house.   Believe it or not, it does not matter as much WHEN you eat, it matters WHAT and HOW MUCH you eat.   Your body does not store fat more readily at night than at other times during the day.  Just make sure you are taking in the right amount of calories, and proportions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to ensure you are reaching your goals.   If you eat all the food you are supposed to before 7 pm, then you shouldn’t be eating past then, BUT if you find yourself at 8 pm with 30g of carbohydrates and 20g of protein left to eat in your day, I hope you’re making yourself a sandwich to get you there!     Point #2 - You do not have a “free” window after your workout to eat whatever you want without negative effects.  Although, you can definitely improve your recovery and performance by timing of your food around your training.   So before you think I’m contradicting myself, like I mentioned WHEN you eat does not outweigh what and how much you eat.  Although, the timing of your foods can have a positive impact on your results as long as you have the proper amounts and quality of food in place.     If you have the right amount of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats determined in a day that you should be eating, but are trying to figure out how to split it up into your day, then here is what I’d advise:
  • Having a meal with sufficient amounts of protein every 3-5 hours.  This will prevent your body from pulling amino acids (building blocks of protein) from other muscle tissue to supply itself.  AKA - You won’t have muscle breakdown due to lack of calories and can keep your ‘gainz’.
  • Eating 3-5 meals per day will help you get the proper amount of calories necessary without feeling too hungry at any point, as well as not having to eat HUGE meals to reach your caloric goals for a day.  
  • Your post workout meal is important because this is when you are starting your recovery process.  As soon as we’ve stopped ‘gasping for air post-workout’, our recovery phase has begun.  What does that even entail?
    • Replenishing muscle and liver glycogen stores (aka our energy stores which are fueled by CARBOHYDRATES)
    • Muscle Repair which can be aided by protein intake
    • Restoring fluid and electrolytes
    • Helping the immune system to handle the damage of exercise and the stress it causes on the body (don’t worry - it’s a good stress!)
  So if you are trying to figure out how often to eat and when to eat what, keep these two things in mind:
  1. Worry first about how much and the types of food you are eating before you start worrying about the timing of those foods.
  2. Eat 4-6 meals throughout the day evenly spaced out and include a good lean protein source with each.
  3. If you are weight-training/exercising consistently, try to have slightly larger meals pre-workout (1-3 hours prior), as well as post-workout (within 90 minutes) to aid in performance and recovery.  These meals are where I would focus a larger amount of calories to restore glycogen to muscles (aka from carbohydrates) as well as aid in muscle tissue repair (aka from a lean protein source).  

Keep that Fire Burning

By: 0

Keep that fire burning.  Don’t lose that spark.  And if you do for what you’re doing currently, find it in something else.     With so much talk going into the 3rd week of the Open, I felt it was important to present a different perspective.  As a 5x participant, the meaning of it has shifted throughout the years.  It has become a way for me to re-ignite that spark, and has represented a time of reflection and reinvention for me.  Every year, I put myself in position to not only challenge myself and face any fears that I may have surrounding gymnastics movements, a major weakness of mine, how long a workout will be, or how much it’s going to suck… but inadvertently, I set myself up for success, in feeling a sense of empowerment and accomplishment at the conclusion of each season.  Every year, I feel better  and have been able to do something I was not able to do the year before, and that fires me up.   So to all my peeps doing their very first Open that didn't get to see a pull- up in last weeks workout, dont sweat it…it simply serves as a reminder that there is work that needs to be done.  We all started somewhere and consider this…. You are already successful and have so much to be proud of; you have completed 2 workouts in a competition that you never thought yourself capable of doing.  You stepped outside of your safe zone, not knowing in the least what to expect, and in case you haven't heard, thats where the magic happens.   Coach Rocio

Jitters

By: 0

Jitters are good, we like jitters….   A coach that I really looked up to told me a long time ago, that if you aren’t nervous about the game then you don’t care.  That is something that has stuck with me for years to come.  Granted that was a sport’s related reference, but its impact has carry over far beyond its reach.     Right now, all of us get nervous, about a myriad of different things.  I am at a point where I am very nervous about my future.  I have invested a lot of money in my education, to make something of a once college drop out who fought with his mother to tears about finishing his associates degree.     Some of us are nervous about going on first or second dates with a new found acquaintance.  Some of us are nervous that our low monthly income won’t allow us to afford some of the finer things that we have kept our eyes on for months on end.  Some of us are nervous about this whole thing called the CrossFit Open.   It is good to be nervous, it means that you care.  It means that you have worked so hard to a point where the outcome that you are about to receive will impact you.  Whether that be leaving a first date thanking god that you survived, or paying for a dinner that was a bit fancier than normal.  Or even surviving Open Workout 17.3.     If I were to offer any type of advice, it would be to remember that you’re doing what you do because you love yourself and you care about what will happen to you.  Not every scenario that presents itself will end with dire repercussions, but there will be some that challenge you as a human being and as an individual.  Those are often the one’s that you learn from the most.   Coach Zach

A Letter to All First Time Open Athletes

By: 0

Dear first timer,   Congratulations on having the courage to take on your first CrossFit Games Open.   Signing up and performing all five workouts is in itself is an accomplishment.   Now, I would like to give you some hard truth.   Please realize that this comes from a place of pure love without malice.   99.9999999% of the world will not be moving on to the regional, and an even smaller percentage will be going to the games.   The games athlete is the anomaly not the rule. Your journey in the open has greater reaching ramifications than making it further in the games season; rather, it is a quest for self-actualization.  Step back and come to the realization that you are doing this for the fulfillment of accomplishment, to have fun, to be apart of your community, and to test your fitness against a larger group of competitors and athletes. You are doing this to better yourself and see this task through to the end.   The open is a cathartic experience that will change you and how you view yourself both physically and mentally. If you do not enjoy every aspect of these five weeks, then you are truly cheating yourself out of the intended experience.   Avoid negative self talk, block out doubt and nervousness and allow yourself to be you within the workouts.   Focus on your own private victories and take great pride in them.   If everyone could do it than everyone would!   These five weeks will fly by just as fast as they came.  It will be the end of March in a blink, and all you will have left is the memory of your experience and the thirst to do it again next year.   Take time to reflect during these five weeks on how adversities you have conquered translate to your everyday life.   The remnants of the open should not be heartache and torn hands, but it should be a new found sense of self.   The CrossFit Open scores do not define you as a person, but your participation speaks volumes about your strength.   Whether we are games athletes or scaled athletes, we are measured on our attitude, determination, and willingness to stare down vulnerability and tell them it get the f@#$ out of our way.   Please keep that in mind.   Good luck to everyone competing this year. Please know that I am truly proud of each and every one of you.   Love you all, even if you can’t do a muscle up 😃 Coach Angelo Sisco

Nutrition Tips for the CrossFit Open

By: 0

The CrossFit Open is finally here! On Thursday night, the first Open Workout for 2017 will be announced, and we will kick off with our Live Announcement right after, and then Friday Night Lights this Friday!
 
Although we cannot yet prepare for the workout (since we don't know what it is yet), we CAN start preparing with our nutrition.
 
I'm not saying you'll make any HUGE differences in your performance in just 1 week of eating well, BUT here are some tips to make sure you're feeling your best when you go to attack that workout this weekend!
 
1. Not much should change - If you've found something that works for you prior to a workout, then don't change much. Keep things pretty similar.
 
2. Hydrate - Most of us are walking around dehydrated, and if they announce another 20 minute AMRAP for that first WOD, we could be in trouble. Start TODAY and make sure you're drinking plenty of water leading up to it.
 
3. Pre-Workout - SOME caffeine is good, it has shown to aid in perceived exertion and physical performance, but don't overdo it or else you'll be running to the bathroom right at 3-2-1 GO. Think maybe 1 scoop of Aminos with some water or easy digesting carbohydrates 1 hour prior to sip on.
 
4. Eat last meal 2-3 hours prior to workout - Depending on the intensity of the workout, I'd get in your last meal 2-3 hours prior to the workout so that you are not feeling heavy or left with an upset stomach come the start of the workout. Keep this meal mostly carbohydrates and some protein, I'd stay away from a lot of fats.
Then 1-2 hours prior to workout, consider a small snack that is easy to digest or some liquid BCAA's/Carb mixture to sip on.
 
5. RECOVER - Make sure you're taking in some carbs and protein as soon as you can handle it post-workout. Then getting in a solid meal within 2 hours after the workout to help you recover for the next one!
 
 
I will be posting more specific tips each Friday to help you make sure you are fueling properly for that workout and performing your best!
Coach Becca Chilczenkowski