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 Part 2 of Coach Benet’s blog about the California Drought.

Over the weekend, I met a young couple from East Porterville, CA. This is a city that has arguably been hit the hardest by the drought. Many of the residents of Tulare County are on a well system, and of the 952 wells that have gone dry in the county, 600 are in East Porterville, CA. One day this family had water from their well, and the next it had gone dry.

How would your water behaviors change if you had to fill up buckets, drums, and trash cans from two 5,000-gallon water tanks parked in your neighborhood? Read about their story here.

The issues surrounding SoCal water (politics, economics, infrastructure, and individual behaviors) have existed for years. It’s only now that we are becoming aware of them because we are in a drought.

What can you do now? We are now directing blame at agriculture, politicians, oil/energy, but ultimately I believe that we have to point the finger at ourselves first as water consumers. We have to change our mindset about how we use water if we expect to make larger change in our total usage. What’s your droughtbeard? A droughtbeard is something you do daily to remind yourself about water use. For me, it is actually why I have a beard. Every day I look in the mirror and I am awkwardly reminded about being focused on water. Whether I’m in the shower, brushing teeth, or buying meat at the store I am 100% aware of my water footprint. Another example of a #droughtbeard can be something as simple as putting up post-it notes by all of your faucets!

Be creative, but I encourage you to find your #droughtbeard and share it with us on facebook, instagram, or twitter!


 

Tuesday’s Workout
Spring Break

A) In 20min find 1RM
Bench press

B) For individual and total time
800m Run
3min Rest
400m Run
2min Rest
200m Run

And Coming Wednesday
Spring Break

A) EMOM 10
O: 14 DB renegade rows (45/30)
E: :30 Candlestick levers

B) FT
750m Row
25 Burpees
500m Row
50 Burpees
250m Row
75 Burpees
**30min Cap**
**See 3/4/14**

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Enjoy the Spring Break workouts coming the next couple of weeks.  Trust your fitness and have a blast!


Monday’s Wokout
Fun

“3.2.1.”

For total time, no rest between rounds.
3 Rounds:
5 Jerks (135/95)
7 Pullups
9 Jumping lunges

2 Rounds:
8 Front squats (135/95)
10 Power cleans
12 V-ups

1 Rounds:
400m Run
50 Double unders
50 Med ball situps (20/14)

And Coming Tuesday
Fun

A) In 20min find 1RM
Bench press

B) For individual and total time
800m Run
3min Rest
400m Run
2min Rest
200m Run

 

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Hometown:  Simi Valley, CA
Age: 33

Occupation: CFO
When did you first start CrossFitting?: November 2012
When did you first start training at CFLA?: November 2012
Favorite WOD: 1RM Bench Press
Least Favorite WOD: 16 x 100m Franklin Hill sprints

Tell us about you sports & fitness background: I played sports as a kid, but generally I was pretty lazy until I started martial arts at age 13. It completely changed my life. Not only physically, but in other parts of my life as well. My grades in school skyrocketed, I had a much better relationship with my family and I was much happier. I eventually earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. After high school I mostly just moved from different workout to workout, including various gyms, boot camps and yoga studios. I always tried to stay active. I love hiking, when I can find a hiking buddy.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? I tried a lot of different workouts, but none of them really made a difference, nor did they give me the results I was looking for. I’m a big believer in not reinventing the wheel. I’ll just do what all those really in shape people are doing, which was CrossFit. Once I moved closer to CFLA, I made the leap and joined.

I don’t remember my first workout, but it was towards the end of 2012. I do remember though, that for the first three months, I felt like puking after every class. Eventually that feeling went away. Until Franklin Hill sprints, then that feeling comes right back to remind me of the good ol’ days.

  What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? I’ve definitely progressed so much, but I still have a long way to go. For instance, when I started, I had to do pull-ups with the large band while everyone did regular pull-ups. Then, after about a year and a half I could regularly do pull-ups without a band. But by then, everyone moved on to chest to bar pullups! When I finally got chest to bar pull-ups, everyone else was doing bar muscle-ups. If I finally get those, who knows what we will be working on next…

In general, I feel really great though. I have been lucky to not get injured and have been very happy with how I feel. Looking to just keep improving.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? The big unexpected change I’ve noticed must have come from all the back squats we’ve been doing. Between my wife and Woogene, I probably get slapped on the butt at least 3 times a day. That’s 3 more than before CrossFit.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments:  Last year we did 14.5 at Trojan CrossFit, and I was the last competitor in the last heat to finish. The workout DESTROYED me, but I had my 7am crew coaching (or, yelling at) me through the end of the workout. I couldn’t have done it without them and the 80 other people pushing me through.

My funniest CFLA moment was last Halloween, when completely unscripted, Alyssa and I dressed up as each other. I had a ponytail and wore neon, had a back pack and put on black tights under my shorts. I run into the gym thinking “I got her good! Wait, why is Alyssa wearing glasses and wearing white socks hiked up?” It was pretty hysterical.

Any advice for people just getting started? Show up. A lot. I started coming twice a week, then 3 days, then 4 days. Now, if I came any more, Andy would probably have to start charging me rent on top of my membership. It takes a lot of time to make big changes, so you have to be patient and keep at it. Especially showing up on days that you don’t really like the workout.

I make CrossFit part of my regular schedule. I wake up, put on pants, check pants for giant holes in the crotch (I learned that one after a couple bad experiences), and head over to CFLA. It’s easy to come regularly if you don’t have to think about it.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?I have a whacky family made up of a very loving wife, an adorable 10 month old baby, an almost blind and diabetic dog, a pig (yes, a pig) and couple chickens. They definitely keep me busy! Being an entrepreneur means rarely being able to turn that off. I also enjoy anything outdoors (unless it is cold) and traveling to places that aren’t cold, but really my main pastime outside of work and home is CrossFit.


 

Friday’s Workout
Retest

4 Rounds for total time
60 Double unders
20 Alt. pistols
10 Bar muscleups
**2min Rest between rounds**

And Coming Monday
Spring Break Week!

“3.2.1.”
For total time, no rest between rounds.

3 rounds of:
5 Jerks (135/95)
7 Pull Ups
9 Jumping Lunges

2 rounds of:
8 Front Squats (135/95)
10 Power Cleans
12 V-Ups

1 round of:
400m Run
50 Double Unders
50 Med Ball Sit Ups (20/14

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Cycle 7.0 is coming to a close as we finish Retest Week this week. So what happens next? We will complete three full 14-week cycles this year. They are spaced out throughout the year, and there is some time in between each cycle. Cycle 8.0 does not begin until May 4, so we will have 2 weeks of “Spring Break” programming between the end of Cycle 7.0 and then.

This will be a fun couple of weeks with a variety of workouts. You’ll have the opportunity to test 1RMs, establish max efforts, and PR in other areas.  There will also be a day when you can try to make it on the Leaderboard for certain events. We are even doing the famous CFLA Baseline!

Have a good time these next few weeks, then get yourself ready to go in the Cycle 8.0 Test Week!


Thursday’s Workout
Retest

For reps
1min Power cleans (135/95)
1min Jerks (135/95)
2min Power cleans
2min Jerks
3min Power cleans
3min Jerks
**Inspired by CrossFit.com**

And Coming Friday
Retest

4 Rounds for total time
60 Double unders
20 Alt. pistols
10 Bar muscleups
**2min Rest between rounds**

 

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Post by Coach Kevin Kurz

This will be the first of many posts on nutrition.  I hope to answer many questions as we continue our quest to better ourselves through nutrition and healthy living. Here’s the first of probably many posts on the subject of sugar. 

People gain weight for several reasons including genetics, metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and over eating.  High-caloric intake with lots of sugar, will lead to an unbalanced insulin-glucagon axis which acts as the storage and transport hormones for blood sugar, and the body won’t be able to process and use up all the sugar in the body, and it will be transported to adipose tissue cells, hence the buildup of fat.  This is why it is paramount to maintain an active lifestyle, in order to use up the glycogen stored in our body for energy, and to constantly replenish those stores daily.

There are different types sugar. Glucose (can be from starches or fruits) can be used immediately for energy or it is stored in muscle cells or the liver as glycogen.  The brain uses up a lot of glucose, hence when we are not consuming enough sugar, we fall into the “brain fog” trap.  Fructose is found in fruits, and is metabolized by the liver before being sent off to various cells of the body, whether it be muscle, adipose (fat cells) or other.  Galactose is found in dairy,  and along with fructose, can be extremely difficult to digest due to their complexity.

Excessive sugar in your diet can lead to health and life threatening issues such as Type 2 Diabetes, which occurs when our cells become resistant to the effect of insulin.  As a result, the pancreas can’t keep up with the demand of producing enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels down.  At this point, blood sugar levels skyrocket and a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes may be made.

Here are just a few facts on the rising epidemic of diabetes in the U.S.:

  • 5% of the US population have diabetes – 25.8 million children and adults.
  • Researchers from the Jefferson School of Population Health (Philadelphia, PA) published a study which estimates that by 2025 there could be 53.1 million people with the disease.

Overweight and obese people have a much higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to those with a healthy body weight. People with a lot of visceral fat, also known as central obesity, belly fat, or abdominal obesity, are especially at risk. Being overweight/obese causes the body to release chemicals that can destabilize the body’s cardiovascular and metabolic systems.

Recent research on the effects of sugar as a potential cause of cancer take into consideration the harmful effects that sugar has on metabolism.  Cancer is characterized by uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells, and insulin is one of the key hormones in regulating this sort of growth.  Therefore, elevated insulin levels (a consequence of sugar consumption) can contribute to cancer growth.

This information isn’t meant to scare you. It’s to get you thinking about what you are eating, and what changes you can make in your diet now that may influence your health for years to come.  We all want to live healthy and prosperous lives, unencumbered by health-related issues that limit our ability to perform any task, be it physical and mental.


Wednesday’s Workout
Retest Week

FT
50cal Row
50 Burpees
50 Box jumps with step down (24/20)
50 Wallballs to 10’ (20/14)
50 Toes to bar
50 Wallballs
50 Box jumps
50 Burpees
50cal Row
**40min Cap**
**Inspired by CrossFit Games Regional 2014**
Compare to Jan 14

 And Coming Thursday
Retest Week

For Reps
1min Power cleans (135/95)
1min Jerks (135/95)
2min Power cleans
2min Jerks
3min Power cleans
3min Jerks
**Inspired by CrossFit.com**
Compare to Jan 15

 

 

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This is part one of a two part series on water by Coach Benet Heames who is also the Managing Director of www.droughtbeard.com, which was created to raise awareness related to the drought.

How do you value water? 

Before you answer that, let’s have a better understanding of water and give this some context. 

Water is an exhaustible natural resource. That means that there is a finite amount of it on earth. Yes, the earth is covered in it, but only about 3% is consumable for personal or agricultural use. You can’t grow tomatoes with sea water, and yes, a lot of the produce in America comes from California. 

Water is not an abundant natural resource to Southern California. Los Angeles is located in a basin surrounded by three deserts and an ocean. Our natural water supply is limited to groundwater aquifers that are fed by precipitation from the local mountains. These aquifers can not be depleted because we then run into a problem called saltwater intrusion. If these run low, they HAVE to be replenished with water from other sources. 

Water travels a very long way to supply the demand. You will have to look into what the California State Water Project and Central Valley Project  did to understand how Los Angeles gets water. It is complicated, political, and the backdrop of the movie “Chinatown.” It is a brilliant and disturbing history, but we could not call LA home without the actions taken by William Mulholland in 1907. Ultimately, Los Angeles could not exist without water being brought in from the North.  Check out some information on William Mulholland, the actions taken to acquire water rights from the Owens Valley, and the failure of the St. Francis Dam that killed over 450 people. 

Let’s also discuss what value means, as it relates to water in the question above. 

We value water financially, but the cost of water ranges throughout the state. This also depends on use, water for farming can cost $50 per acre foot, but water for the Southern California Water District is nearly $298 per acre feet. One may think that agriculture should pay more in a drought, but that would only be passed on to consumers. Can your grocery bill (because you buy organic/fresh) be increased 5x because of the cost of water for agriculture? That’s a tough question. We currently do not have a price mechanism for use or waste. We all shoulder the cost burden with waste. Unfortunately, our actual delivery system (pipes under streets in LA) is in major need of repair. The cost of repairs is almost $4 BILLION. Our aging water delivery infrastructure is also a big financial problem that we will be exposed to in the coming years (regardless of drought) because of how much waste comes from pipes that break. 

Our price for water does not impact our behavior towards water. When gas was expensive, people changed their driving behaviors and bought efficient cars. You financially felt the difference between $5 and $3 per gallon. With water, you don’t know if you took a $5 shower, or a $1.00 shower. If we had a better water pricing mechanism, our behavior would change. 

So, back to my original question with some more context:

How do you value an exhaustible natural resource that is not found in our region, travels over 300 miles from the source to delivery, and is governed by complicated regulatory laws with pricing that is not transparent across the user base?

For part 1, please discuss with your family. We will build on the issues related to the drought in part 2, as well as offer solutions and what www.droughtbeard.com is trying to accomplish!

Look for Part 2 on this blog April 21.


 

Tuesday’s Workout
Retest

A) 1RM Back squat (20min)

B) 1RM Squat snatch (20min)
Compare to Jan 13

And Coming Wednesday
Retest 

FT
50cal Row
50 Burpees
50 Box jumps with step down (24/20)
50 Wallballs to 10’ (20/14)
50 Toes to bar
50 Wallballs
50 Box jumps
50 Burpees
50cal Row
**40min Cap**
**Inspired by CrossFit Games Regional 2014**
Compare to Jan 14

 

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Time to close retest week with some PR’s! We set personal standards for the five different tests this week. Let’s see how you match with your January self?


 

Monday’s Workout
Retest

3 RFT
10 Thrusters (105/70)
10 Deadlifts (225/155)
10 Kipping CTB pullups
**7min Cap**

Tuesday’s Workout
Retest

A) 1RM Back squat (20min)

B) 1RM Squat snatch (20min)

 

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 I hope your weekend is as fun as this looks. Rest up. It’s Retest Week starting Monday!

 

Friday’s Workout
Recovery: Practice

A) 3 Position squat snatch (low to high)
60%
65% 
70%
75%
80%

B) 5 RFQ (20:40) at ≤70 RPE
Box jumps with step down
Bar muscle ups
Double unders
Deadlifts (40%)

And Coming Monday
ReTest Week!

3 RFT
10 Thrusters (105/70)
10 Deadlifts (225/155)
10 Kipping CTB pullups
**7min Cap**
Compare to Jan 12

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I was feeling a little guilty about not cooking, nothing that kept me up at night, but a little guilt.  You all know I love to eat and I usually love to cook too. So, why wouldn’t I want to create delicious meals right? A few things: the time factor, creativity and sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking. So, I decided to try out Power Supply. So far I’ve been pleased with the food, it’s tasty and clean and doesn’t require any thought and it saves me time.  Part of me thought, maybe I shouldn’t order pre made food, but my student Julian said- it’s inspiration. Yes it is, thanks Julian!  With every meal I eat it sparks a little something in my brain and I think oh, I could cook this or that and recreate this or that. Or I find a new ingredient that I have not been using- which is always fun. Basically it has added some variety in my food and a bit of motivation to cook different things. 

This takes me to my dish that I’m sharing with you today. I’m a huge fan of one pot meals. They are just so easy, dish washing is reduced, and in general they are simple. I have a confession, this dish started as a two potter and ended as one. (I’ll wash that one extra pot, it’s worth it) Usually when I use ground beef, I prepare taco meat.  And, in fact that was what I thought I was going to do with my beef last week. Then I saw the eggplant sitting in the fridge, practically crying out to be used, I felt like they were saying “pick me”. Of course, I did pick them out at the store, but then they got put in the fridge and buried under the kale and blueberries. Imagine that!

Spicy Eggplant and Beef Dish

What you need:

1 pound grass fed ground beef

1/2 red onion- chopped

2 large eggplants

1/4 cup to 1/2 cup kalamata olive (depending on how much you like them)

olive oil

seasoning; I don’t measure so add and taste:

basil

oregano

fennel seeds

crushed red peppers

salt 

pepper

What to do:

1. Cube eggplant and sprinkle with salt- set in colander and let weep for an hour. Then rinse with water then squeeze them out. Dry with paper towel. 

2. In a cast iron skillet on medium heat,  partially cook the ground beef. Salt and pepper lightly, set aside.

3. In a very large sauce pan add in olive oil to coat bottom and heat to medium heat. Add in Eggplant and saute for a few minutes, then add in meat and onions.

4. Season with herbs and cook for at least 30 minutes covering pan after initial 10min. Just a note: eggplant is no good under cooked, so be patient. It should be creamy and smooth when done. 

5. Add in olives right before serving.


 Thursday’s Workout
Mental Toughness

3 RFT
800m Run
30 RKBS (32/24)
20 Overhead squats (95/65)
**30min Cap**

 And Coming Friday
Recovery: Practice

A) 3 Position squat snatch (low to high)
60%
65% 
70%
75%
80%

B) 5 RFQ (20:40) at ≤70 RPE
Box jumps with step down
Bar muscle ups
Double unders
Deadlifts (40%)

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Guest Blog by Adam Rotherham

I’ve been getting pretty poor sleep recently. Well, not recently – in fact, the last 9 months, 27 days, 16 hours, and 46 minutes to be precise. I’m not counting, per-say, it’s just that my sleep pattern changed drastically with the arrival of our baby girl, Hazy, in June 2014. Nearly 10 months later and I am still talking about how I am not getting enough sleep. I  found myself blaming poor baby Hazy. But, as my wife pointed out, the thing is, Hazel pretty much sleeps through the whole night now. Damn – so it’s not the baby’s fault.

So, why am I not getting enough sleep? I go to bed early enough and am prepared to sleep 8 glorious hours — they are just inconsistent and broken. The only real noticeable contributor was my neighbors bright spotlight on the side of their building, which pretty much shines directly into my bedroom window and lights up the room at night.

So, I came up with 3 options.

1- Supplement with Niacin and Melatonin (I’m not much of a fan of taking pills and I’ve heard mixed reviews about Niacin, that it can give some people hot flushes and nausea).

2- Install a blackout curtain (probably the most logical).

3- Smash the neighbors spotlight (this might work in Australia, but I’m not too sure about the USA).

I chose to go with number 2 and install a blackout curtain. I researched a few different options online and decided to make the trip to IKEA. I purchased a heavy duty blackout curtain and installed an extra lining on the back of it to make it even denser. There was pretty much no chance of any light getting through these puppies. I’m happy to say, I installed them on Saturday afternoon and have been having the best nights sleep ever since.

Why has this made such a difference to my sleep? Here’s what I found out.

About 70 million Americans suffer from sleeping problems, nearly 60 percent of that number have a chronic disorder. Every year $15.9 Billion is added to the National Health Care bill from sleep disorders and sleep deprivation. This figure does not include any related health problems, loss of worker productivity or accidents. If you are having problems sleeping, it’s more than likely not genetic or neurological. You may not be getting a good nights sleep because you are not allowing your circadian clock to be set by the day and night cycles.

What does this mean?

Most bedrooms these days are full of bright lights, from computer screens, tablets, smart phones and a host of other electronic devices. Chronic exposure to light at night can lead to a series of health problems including depression, cancer risk, and decreased hormone function. Light at night influences the production of cortisol and melatonin levels. Melatonin is produced by the brain’s Pineal Gland at night when it’s dark and regulates our sleep-wake cycle. It also lowers blood pressure, glucose levels and body temperature which all contribute to a restful nights sleep. Your brain won’t produce melatonin if it’s confused with being day or night.

There’s a part of your brain called the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN). The SCN responds to light and dark signals. The optic nerves in the eyes sense light and send a message to the SCN, telling the brain it’s time to wake up. It also raises body temperature and elevates cortisol levels. Cortisol levels are generally low at night which allows us to sleep. Light at night however, elevates cortisol levels and disrupts our sleep.

Why is sleep so important?

Sleep is the most important part of recovery with respect to illness/sickness, depression, stress and training. Without quality sleep athletes cannot recover properly or reach their full potential. In today’s fast paced world with family and work commitments, sleep isn’t always our number 1 priority. If you are not getting 8 hours of sleep you are not completing all four cycles of sleep and optimizing your recovery. The deeper the sleep you are in when the alarm clock goes off, the more tired you are going to be throughout the day. When you continuously wake up in the deepest periods of sleep, you are telling your body that you no longer need deep periods of sleep. This is where sleep disorders start to occur.

Here’s what you need to do.

Keep your bedroom pitch black. Take all light emitting devices out of the bedroom – even the dim-light of alarm clocks have been shown to have a negative effect on sleep. If your room is dark at night, there’s no signal to the SCN, so your body releases the much needed melatonin. Also, your melatonin levels are regulated according to the amount of exposure you had to light during the previous day. If you work inside all day without sunlight, be sure to get outside and expose yourself to sunlight at least once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

Of course this is not a fix-all solution. And I am a weightlifter, not a doctor. But it’s a good place to start.

If you want to read into this more, check out these websites:

http://io9.com/why-we-need-to-sleep-in-total-darkness-1497075228

http://wellnessmama.com/13010/kids-night-light/

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/org/ncsdr/

http://www.catalystathletics.com/article/1845/Understanding-Sleep-for-Optimal-Recovery-Productivity/


 

Wednesday’s Workout
Recovery Practice

A) Toes to bar skill practice

B) EMOM 30 at ≤70 RPE
1st Min: 10-15 Arch rocks
2nd Min: 5-10 Thrusters (40%)
3rd Min: 10-15 Hollow rocks
4th Min: 5-10 Kipping CTB pullups
5th Min: 10-15 Situps
6th Min: 5-10 Burpees
**30sec Cap each minute**

And Coming Thursday
Mental Toughness

3 RFT
800m Run
30 RKBS (32/24)
20 Overhead squats (95/65)
**30min Cap**

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