Is a No Rep, Really a “No Rep?”

Nutritional No-Rep

Alright, so for some of you out there the phrase “No-Rep” will utter a response of anger and frustration that may be slightly involuntary. Typically we hear “No-Rep,” when we are working on harder movements that do not come easy to any of us. The “No-Rep” is a phrase yelled when your form doesn’t fall in line with the movements of the exercise. Now a “No-Rep” means that your repition was wasted because of improper movements and doesn’t count towards the total reps for the WOD.

Today I’m not going to talk about the No Rep as it relates to Nutrition. As many of you know, I have been trying to balance switching over to a paleolithic nutritional regimen to supplement my fitness goals. It  has been a long, slow, and sometimes painful road. Since the goal of my blog is to help you, the reader, make better decisions related to your fitness goals and nutritional patterns, I am going to share how my journey is going with you and talk about the successes and failures I have had along the way.

So let’s go back to the begining:

I started eating Paleo back in June(ish) of this year. It all began when my old Crossfit Box, Crossfit 508 started a 90-Day Paleo Challenge. Most of us in the box were relatively new to the world of Crossfit so they made the challenge simple. We basically went on the idea of eliminating breads, pastas, refined sugars, most dairy, creamy dressings on salads, etc. It was not a strict Paleo Challege, but it was enough to light the fire.

I began researching Paleo eating online.  I came across websites such as Civilized Caveman, PaleOMG, The Food Lovers Primal Palate, and The Foodee Project. I bought some books, and I am still buying books to educate myself on the benefits of going Paleo. If I could recomend any book that I have read so far, I am going to recommend two. The first is: The 30 Day Intro to Paleo Meal Plan, available here from The Food Lovers Primal Palate. This book is in an electronic PDF format. It provides a quick intro to the Paleo diet, discusses differences between Paleo vs Primal (its really only a few small details). If you are coming into a Paleo Nutritional plan, it is without a doubt one of the best way’s that I have seen to make the transition! Next, is an eBook from Bill and Haley at The Food Lovers Primal Palate. It is their debut cookbook titled “Make It Paleo.” If you click on my “Shameless Plug’s” page, you can find a link to all the books I have either read, or am currently reading. Anything that is posted up there I recommend. Plus, I get a small percentage for all items bought through my aAmazon Store.

So, I am going to show you yet another way that The Food Lovers Primal Palate have aided with switching to a more paleolithic nutritional plan. This week they released their first digital app! This app is available for iPhone/iPad, and Android operating systems. This app has all of their collective recipes that they have created. It allows you to do meal planning online (or via the mobile app), and create shopping lists automatically for all the ingredients. Folks, they have literally made this idiot proof. Here are some screen shots to look at to give you a little teaser preview, as well as their YouTube video that explains the app in a little more depth.

Seriously though, how easy is that?

Alright, enough about that. Getting back to why I titled this article the way that I did.

We learn from our failures. We take what we did wrong, and we improve on them the next time that we interact with that former failure. Nutrition for me is my biggest goat ever, when it comes to all things Crossfit. It is not going to be easy making the change from mainstream dieting. Reach out to those around you for support. Find ways that they prep/store meals for the coming weeks. Maybe they have some tips/methods that may help you?

At the end of the day, it comes down to determination. If you are dedicated to the change, then it will happen. You just have to give it time and stick with it. Hopefully some of the resources I have posted all over this blog will make that a bit easier for you.

A Breath of Fresh Air

When you hear “Crossfit,” what is your first thought that comes to mind?

For me, its the intense WOD’s, weight loss, improved self-esteem, and most importantly camaraderie. I’m here today, to share a some blog space and offer some publicity for a program that my former coaches are launching at the end of this month.

Photo Credit: Patrick Maquire (EastonPatch)

My former coaches, William Lexner and Karen Bosader opened their own box in Brockton, MA about a month ago now. They didn’t open it to ride to coattails of the current Crossfit revolution, and make some good money. They opened the box so that they can start a non-profit organization to increase fitness and decrease obesity in low-income youths. They want to be able to “increase self-confidence, and promote only the best physical fitness that only Crossfit can provide.” The coaching styles, and knowledge base that these two will bring to the area is amazing.

So you are probably wondering why I call it a breath of fresh air…huh? Well, with the recent explosion of Crossfit across the country boxes gym’s have been poping up all over the place, and people are willing to pay the money to do it because they know it’s worth the investment. Karen & Will are taking the mission of Crossfit and making it accessable to youths in the Brockton area that wouldn’t have otherwise been able to enjoy the benefits of the programming. That’s what the breath of fresh air is. Providing the coaching and nutritional advice to empower teens.

For those of you from the Massachusetts area, you know that Brockton is a pretty low income city. This information was taken straight from the Project Boost Website:

The percentage of low income youth in Brockton, MA is more than twice that of the state average at nearly 71%. Even the high school graduation rate is lower at 69.4%. Compounding this problem is the fact that nearly 40% of the youth are overweight or obese.

Will & Karen: Congratulations on making dreams a reality. I look forward to following your programming and seeing all the good that you guys will do for the youth of that city. I can only hope that more box’s around the country will see the value in this type of programming and you guys will become trend setters!

Something’s missing….

Good Sunday Morning everyone!

To all the Father’s out there, Happy Father’s day.

So I started at a new box at the beginning of this month. It has been kind of a rough transition for me for a bunch of different reasons. I am going to talk about atmosphere, equipment, facility, and coaching. I can’t decided if this place is too “post-bok” for me or what.

Atmosphere is interesting. Due to my schedule I am usually restricted to the morning WOD’s. I call it the hour of the soccer mom’s. I usually go for a 0900 hrs WOD. The class size is extremely manageable and allows for individual coaching with little effort. It isn’t really a social group, but that may also be because I am the new guy. Definitely a problem I didn’t have at my last box. That is starting to improve, but it is frustrating.

Since AE Crossfit is part of the Athletic Evolution training facility, the equipment is new and expansive. Options are endless, thanks to their two different indoor turf areas. The only thing I could really complain about their equipment is that they have no rowers. I didn’t really think about it until I was craving some rowing work and I looked around for them in the box (and their training side). I couldn’t find a single rower. Now, AE Crossfit is a new box, it opened back up in Nov/Dec of 2011. I understand that you need to work out the kinks in the process, but I was beside myself that there were no rowers. Luckily the WOD’s have successfully distracted me from that.

Finally, coaching. I have only worked with one of the coaches for the gym. That beings said my opinion of the coaching can be a bit one-sided and may not be fair but its my experience thus far. I have worked with a coach who appears to be very knowledgeable in the ideals of Crossfit. He has a strength and conditioning and sports medicine background (at least that’s what he says). He is helpful when he notices a problem with your form or technique. The only thing that bugs me, and I mean REALLY grinds my gears about him is the cell phone. In 5 out of my first 6 workouts, after the WOD is done, and he shuts the music off, he is texting while leading stretching. It would be fine if he was able to master the art of multi-tasking but it seems like this is a skill that he needs to practice. He can get very easily distracted (via the phone or talking in person) and will leave us in a stretch longer than needed.

I am gonna take some time and walk through a typical hour at AE Crossfit. We all come into the box, put our names up on the white board, and move over to the turf for a dynamic warm up. The warm up usually consists of running laps, with burpees, jumping jacks, air squats, spider man stretches, and inchworms. It definately gets your heart rate up, and gets you ready for the WOD. Next we move onto the skill/strength session. This is usually the only part of the workout that leaves me unsatisfied. There is usually one strength movement (bench, squats, snatch, push press etc) with a weight of your choosing, combined with a mobility component. I can see the value in it for beginners, but it seems to be a bit lacking. I am also used to doing Wendler Cycles at my old Crossfit Box which I LOVED.

Now with that being said, it should be known that I don’t really want to leave. I just would like to see some improvements at the box that could really improve their performance as a box. Also, they all gave us new scan tags to check in when we come to the BOX. I think they are pretty funny, despite the globo-gym feel it gives off…take a look.

I am happy to say that I am member # 047!

Now, with all this bitching and moaning. My question is how do you approach the owner/coach about where the programming is going? This is something I haven’t had to deal with at my previous box. I was lucky to have a myriad of coaching styles and knowledge bases to pull from. Some were really good with nutrition, some with strength and conditioning, and some have it all going on.

Maybe I am just being hypercritical?

New Month, New Box

I can’t recall a time P.C. (Pre-Crossfit) that I ever spent so much time analyzing and interpreting a box. I went to a new box this past Monday. It was only 5 minutes from my house, so it was super convenient.

I haven’t decided yet if this box is for me, or if it is just one that will become a memory. It is AE Crossfit in Woburn MA. The manager (Erik) was super responsive to emails. I informed him I was looking into finding a new box, and he was very accommodating with getting me in to try out some WOD’s.

What’s that they say about first impressions? This Crossfit box is part of a larger athletic performance training facility. I was not sure what the actual square footage, but there was plenty of impressive equipment. The people in the gym, were a little standoff-ish at first, but after a quick introduction on my part that was no longer an issue.

Programming was pretty solid, we did a dynamic warm up (which was a pretty fun way to do it if I do say so myself) then we did a mobility skill session prior to the WOD. The WOD was challenging but not overbearing.

Pricing was also very reasonable for all the boxes in the area. First Responders/Millitary can get an unlimited membership for $125 a month. Most box’s in the area have prices ranging from $150-200 for unlimited sessions.

Overall, I would say that I definitely enjoyed my first visit. I am going to keep going back until I realize one way or another if I will make it my home Box.

Until next time, Keep Calm, and WOD on.

EDIT 1: So I have been here a few weeks now. I am not super impressed with the strength and conditioning, but the WOD’s are still pretty solid. Still on the fence as to if this place is for me. I will definitely enjoy it for now.

An Open Letter to Crossfit 508

To all the members and coaches at Crossfit 508:

Thank You.

The end of January of this year, I failed my third attempt at a PAT Exam for a job. I finally decided that enough was enough. I have had several friends who were already into Crossfit, and I simply reached out to them for information. I paired that with endless hours of aimless YouTube clip browsing, and main site perusing. It was settled, I was mentally ready to “TRY” Crossfit.

A quick Google search would bring me to an affiliate map, and I found the closest box. I remember my first night like it was yesterday. I got to the Box about 15-20 minutes early, so nervous that I was feeling like my bowels would turn inside out and eject out my…well…you get the picture. I walked into the gym, and then it hit me…

HOLY SHIT, I AM ACTUALLY DOING THIS.

At first, I felt like the fat kid in gym class that no one wanted on their matball team. Then the first member came over and introduced themselves, and it was like I was instantly welcomed into the club. Throughout my foundations program, I worked with Ditano as she showed me the ropes. Kicked my ass with…motivation when I needed it. I will always remember the little short winded shouts of encouragement form people doing the regular WOD. After that, I worked mostly with Dawn-Marie during the daily WOD’s and I didn’t get to work with the other coach’s all that much, that is probably the only thing I regret.

Thank you for inspiring a positive change in my life that was long overdue. Good luck in achieving your goals from here on out. I will miss you guys!

~Ryan