Friday, December 28, 2012

Form Play

A lot of my workouts before I found crossfit had one and only one goal in mind...hurry and get it over with.  However, with crossfit I have so many goals that I could dedicate an entire blog entry on them. I admit, there is a level of competition in crossfit at times, especially when you really don't want to be the last to finish. I know this because for months, I was nearly always the last to finish.  Sometimes finishing 20 minutes after everyone else with that awkward "they are watching me." feeling.  Don't worry about all that.  Your true competition is yourself.  

  • Think you can't finish, prove to yourself you can. Your body is a machine.
  • Want to stop simply because everyone else is done, tune the world out and finish at your own pace.  
  • Rushing through it to try and keep up, stop and reset your mind to ensure your form is good.  
  • Not sure of your form, ask a crossfit instructor to watch you.  
  • Thinking about cutting a few reps out because you "just want to finish", you deserve the best workout possible (don't cheat yourself my friend).  

The best part of the WOD...finishing everything with good form.  I am still working on my form. When I get fatigued, that is where I have to concentrate the most.  If I get sloppy just because I want to hurry and finish, I am likely to hit an injury.  I have already accomplished this with deadlifts by lifting like I was the hunchback of Notre Dame.  Bad deadlifts = bad back.  When I first started, my squats were also all ballerina toes.  Bad squats = bad knees.  I have had to face these injuries because I rushed and got sloppy.  But now, not only do I listen to the instructor go over form...I practice it.  It isn't as cool with a PVC pipe, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  I have also found that it helps to know which muscle I should be feeling during my workout.  For instance, I now know if I don't feel my butt and hamstrings during a deadlift...I am doing something wrong.  Just remember that the WOD is for you, to help you, to improve you overall...and good form is a huge part of that.  Hitting the muscle groups meant to be hit and avoiding injury, it all pays off in the end even if your time is a bit slower at first.  My time has gotten a lot better thanks to good form and less breaks.  Even now when I run, I am not totally gasping for air like I was in the beginning.  It is a great feeling!

Unable to go 4 days without crossfit, I decided to get a pass at a local gym and redo the 12 days of barbell Christmas on Monday morning.  (My favorite WOD to date!)  My brother wanted to try it with me, so off we went to face off with the local gym.  No disrespect to local gyms, but the equipment felt, well, limited.  I guess after going to a crossfit gym where the barbells are plenty, pull-up bars as far as the eye can see, medicine balls for all to use, GHD sit-up bars everywhere, kettle bells ringing, and so on, I was expecting the local gym to have the same type of equipment. But alas, most of everything was machine driven and even their barbells were tied to specific machines/benches.  Working with what I had, I weaved a barbell free from the machine it was tied to and we were off!

Right away, I went over how important form is with my brother.  I would show him, in detail, what to do and he would execute it with me as his guide.  I used all of the "Anna, get your elbows up.", "Anna, use your heels.", "Anna, keep your chest high.", and so on to ensure what I learned was passed onto him.  I was so proud as he did really well and even finished the WOD with really good form.  He is a natural crossfitter!  Sorry for the picture quality.  The iPhone doesn't really take good pictures when someone is in mid-movement.

Alas, I am excited to start my 60-day Paleo challenge next week!  Today's weigh in was 200.9 lbs, which is actually not too bad if I say so myself with all the Christmas food temptations around last week.  It is a very tiny loss (.1 lbs) from last week.  This weekend I plan on getting my paleo grocery list written, menu's typed up and everything purchased before the challenge begins so all I need to do is cook.  Oh, and I also found a local ATL restaurant that serves grass fed beef!!!  Paleo baby!

Happy crossfitting into the New Year my friends!
Anna Dubya

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Year Paleo Style!

I am so excited!  A new year paleo challenge has been announced at knockout crossfit today and I eagerly signed up for the 60 day challenge.  I know a lot of people are probably asking, "what is paleo?"  To put it in the simplest terms, you eat like a caveman.  I know what you are thinking...that doesn't sound very appetizing.  Trust me my friends, it is super yummy, easy and very filling.  You just gotta find the right recipes.  As we approach the New Year, I will share more links and recipes on paleo.  First tip, save the bones from your turkeys or chicken holiday dinners!  That way you can make a really yummy bone broth for a hearty soup.

Taking a trip down memory lane, I did a similar challenge back in August for 8 weeks and it truly made a big difference.  The reason I did Paleo was because my body was shutting down after just a few weeks of crossfit.  I was trying to do my usual diet of low calorie/fat intake and eating clean, but it wasn't giving me the nutrition my body desperately needed to do crossfit.  That is when I found paleo, which apparently is the preferred diet for crossfitters.   I gave it a shot and absolutely loved it.  One day a week I would buy all the foods, cook my meals and freeze them.  I even found some amazing crockpot meals that took maybe 10 minutes to prep and I come home after work....bam....dinner is ready!

With all diets, there are small sacrifices.   Paleo means no grains, dairy or sugar.  Everything else is up for grabs.  Now I am a huge food addict so I was even more surprised during the diet that I didn't crave any of those 3 items.  Why would I?  I could still have bread, made from almond/coconut flour.  I had my sweet tooth through MIO drinks, which has no sugar. Dairy, I love my milk but honestly, I had so many amazing meals during paleo that milk was far from my mind.

I can't wait to see how many people join the challenge.  The best part will be motivating one another, sharing ideas, sharing recipes and seeing progress!  I hope you all join the challenge as there is a 30 day or 60 day challenge. Personally, I recommend a 60 day challenge to allow your body time to adjust to the change and respond to it.

My workouts this week have been amazing.  I guess I say that high on endorphins.  Haha!  I was even complimented on my form this week and how happy I look.  I am truly happy and a big thanks goes to crossfit.  I have so many plans and ideas for 2013...motivation high baby!

While my weight benchmarks are increasing, even though I have been dropping weights during the WODs, I was super proud of my Over Head Squats.  My form was good and I was able to go heavy.  Honestly, when I started crossfit, the first month I could only do the PVC pipe.  Now, I am able to do 3 OHS at 75 lbs.  I say that because it took 3 times to try and get a good picture. Haha! Here I am, getting low but good lord I hate the way my shirt falls and my legs look massive.  I need better fitting workout clothes.  ;)

Here I am smiling as I straighten out.  Kinda blurry but you get the point and at least my legs don't look like steroid enhanced turkey legs.  Or do they...

I still walk about 4 miles 3-4 times a week. I tried walking last night but got skeered because the wind was blowing so hard that I could hear the trees in my neighborhood crack.  So I reduced it to 1 mile and hurried my butt home.  I walk at night, but no worries...I am not alone.  In honor of my pup Lexi who passed away after Thanksgiving, I am proud to announce I rescued another furbaby from the local shelter who was on the kill list.  He is so gentle, loving and a great walking companion.  I introduce to you, Bear...

Today I weighed in at 201 exactly.  I swear that scale hates me.  I am really hoping the paleo challenge STOPS the yo-yo numbers that I have been seeing on the scale.  My pants are still looser then ever, but granted I have cheated a little bit.  I know I said I would reduce the weights during my WODs and for the most part, I have.  But some days I can't resist and I go for heavy weights, like today.  Then I have also been staying after class to do barbell work and find out what my max weight is.  I just wanted to find out before the new year started.  :)

A big shout out to my fellow crossfitters today who continue to amaze me and motivate me to go further then I ever thought possible!  Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope your holiday is filled with laughter, love, warmth and happiness!
Anna Dubya

Friday, December 7, 2012

Endorph me up scotty!

Good morning my friends.  Ever get that super happy feeling where you can't stop smiling and the world just seems wonderful?  I once had that feeling, years ago when I was working out heavily and finally received my first surge of endorphin's.  Boy, I have missed that feeling of unconditional happiness.  So I am super happy that it is finally back.  I knew if I kept working my butt off at crossfit that eventually I would get that awesome rush of endorphin's and after my workout today, I received just that.  YAY!!!

Weigh in today is at 200.1 lbs.  Last week was 203.7, so that is a 3.6 lbs lost which is always great to see.  I am still keeping up with trying to complete my WODs faster but with less weights.  I am also walking or jogging 2-4 miles at least 3 times per week and eating lots and lots of salads, which I love.  I know salad sounds boring, but it doesn't have to be boring and bland.  There are tons of ways to spice up a salad to leave you wanting more and more.  Fruit, eggs, nuts, fish, chicken (baked or rotisserie), etc.

What I miss most is lifting heavy weights.  I love lifting heavy!  Today's WOD was awesome and a treat because it was a max weight day.  So I "had" to lift heavy and I was more than happy to do so.  I was even more pleased to discover my max back squat has increased by 20 lbs, now at 165 lbs instead of 145 lbs.  I love, love, love, lifting heavy.  I love it so much that me and a close friend created a new "hello handshake".  It is basically a few unique high-fives, a leap into my arms and a rock a bye-bye baby hello.  Sounds dorky, I know, but people who have witnessed it have asked to participate.  Always makes for a good laugh!

Don't believe me?  See for yourself...

Ah, good times!  Haha! If I see you, don't be shy. Give me an A-Dubs Crossfit "high-five" hello.  :)

Have a great weekend my friends!
Anna Dubya