Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Iron Mind

Just re-read a great article about the iron mind entitled, The Iron, written by Henry Rollins (originally published in 1993 in DETAILS Magazine). If you've never read it, or would like some insight on why a strong body and mind go hand-in-hand, read it here.

It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from the Iron. I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does not want to be lifted. I was wrong. When the Iron doesn't want to come off the mat, it's the kindest thing it can do for you. If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn't teach you anything. That's the way the Iron talks to you. It tells you that the material you work with is that which you will come to resemble. That which you work against will always work against you.  - Henry Rollins


Monday, May 24, 2010

Fuel for Badassery

For the past 8 months, I have been using AdvoCare supplements to help fuel my body before, during, and after workouts. These supplements (AdvoCare plus a multi-vitamin, probiotics, fish oil), a clean Paleo diet, and regular sleep have helped me lose body fat (down 6% since October), drop 2 dress sizes (from size 8/10 to size 4/6), and gain muscle strength and endurance (as noted in previous posts).

I consider my investment in AdvoCare to be an investment in my overall health. Of course, the supplements aren't cheap, but THEY WORK. Isn't that worth it? I think so...

Here's a look at my daily AdvoCare supplements, or as I like to call them, my "fuel for badassery":

  • For Energy: AdvoCare Spark® Energy Drink and AdvoCare Slam®. I sip on these 1-2 hours before my workout and sometimes during my workout depending on how I feel.
  • For Staying Lean: CATALYST™. Taken 15 minutes before a workout, or before meals, Catalyst contains branch-chained amino acids that help maintain lean muscle mass during calorie restriction and intense exercise. Also gives me a nice "boost" during long workouts.
  • For Performance: Muscle Strength™ (taken 1 hour before my workout) and Nighttime Recovery (taken every night). Both of these help decrease recovery time between workouts and encourage muscle growth and strength. Nighttime Recovery also contains amino acids and magic dust that lulls me into a deep, regenerating sleep. I always wake up feeling great after taking it!
In the coming weeks, I will begin adding more of the AdvoCare Performance Elite supplements into my regimen, including Arginine Extreme, AdvoCare® Muscle Fuel, and Post Workout Recovery. The goal is to create my personal formula for achieving optimal performance results.

I'm a firm believer that the AdvoCare supplements have helped me see greater results, faster than if I would have been taking nothing for the past 8 months. I believe that in the case of my results, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
I encourage anyone looking to take their training or fat loss to the next level to give AdvoCare a try. If it's good enough for the vast majority of the CrossFit Central coaches and clients, as well as countless professional athletes (including Drew Brees), it's got to be the real deal.

Holler if you want to try any of the products, or need more info. Also, Check out Coach Jess Sharratt's blog about the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. Sounds like a great way to jumpstart fat loss and toning for any newbies interested in AdvoCare. Let's do it!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Takin' to the Top!

On Saturday, I joined my team of fellow CrossFit women and our friends to take on the American Lung Association's Fight For Air Climb at the Frost Bank Building in downtown Austin. This race was a climb up 30 stories, 60 flights, or 672 steps if you're counting. :) The event raised money for research and treatment of lung disease - something that hits really close to home for me.

My goal was to come in under 7 minutes. I set this goal with having climbed that many stairs only once. I challenged my teammates to do the same, and come race-day, a few of us agreed to shoot for sub-6 minutes. (CrossFitters always make it interesting with a little friendly competition!)

Coach Megan Parsons led our team up the stairs, following the team of firefighters from the Round Rock Fire Dept. I went next, and Whitney Frakes started behind me. Once we began the climb, I was happy to have these ladies there to push me to keep my pace. It was a SHOWOUT sandwich!! :) We all made it to the top in with awesome times - Megan got sub 5 minutes, I came in at 5:20, and Whit finished just behind me. It got pretty tough after floor 20, but I just kept going - taking it 2 steps at a time (thank you long legs!!) until I got it done.

Later on that day we recieved word of the final results. Serveral of my teammates had done really well and I ended up placing 1st in my division (I even got a medal! :))! I'm so proud of us for crushing our goals!!

At the top of the climb, we were greeted by some familiar faces - Lauren, Diego, and Stacy from CrossFit Central. It was great to see them representing the double C's at the event and spreading the word about CrossFit. Megan and I were approached by some of the firefighters who had started the climb ahead of us (some of whom finished behind us!). They asked how we prepared for the event and we replied, "we CrossFit"! I saw quite a few people visiting with the folks from CFC at their table - I hope we were able to recruit some climbers to join CrossFit.

All in all, this was a great experience. Thanks to my teammates for motivating me to push myself and to all of my friends and family who supported this cause with donations - the event raised nearly $100,000!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Do Work. Be Proud of Your Effort. CrossFit.

Just read a great blog post from Lisbeth at CrossFit Watertown this morning, entitled, "Opening the Way" that sums up my love for CrossFit. Here's an excerpt:

...we know that if it’s been an absolutely horrible, crap-filled day in this world that’s beat us down and made us feel so small, that once we walk through those doors... there’s a friendly face that’s going to give us a hug, teach/beat/rejuvenate us for an hour, and then send us back out the door, tired but with a big smile and a huge sense of accomplishment. And that the day will suddenly feel better and we’ll have strength enough to get up in the morning and do it all over again.
There’s no photo that can show all those images, no picture that can capture all those feelings, no words that can easily describe this experience to your friends.
The writer George Sand once said: “The world will know and understand me someday. But if that day does not arrive, it does not greatly matter. I shall have opened the way for other women.”

The world will know and understand CrossFit someday. But if that day does not arrive, it does not greatly matter. We’ll have opened the way for everyone.
Do Work. Be Proud of Your Effort. CrossFit.
If you don't yet subscribe to the CrossFit Watertown blog feeds, DO IT! It's a great CrossFit blog.

Now, go out there and GET SOME!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Time to DO WORK

Saturday's Spartan 300 Challenge benchmark workout was a lot tougher than I expected. In 20 minutes, I was able to get through:

25 pull ups (most of my time was spent here, and I ripped my hands)
50 deadlifts (95#)
50 push ups (from knees - BOO!)
50 box jumps (20")
10 Floor Wipers (95#)

I still had all of this remaining when "time" was called:

40 Floor wipers
50 KB clean and press (14kg)
25 pull ups


I'm glad I did Rx weight, so I will be able to complete this workout as Rx'd on 6/26. And, in the process of getting my ass kicked, it became very clear to me where I need to focus my training over the course of the next 7 weeks:

  1. Build strength in my chest, back and core to help with pull ups and push ups
  2. Work on kipping pull up technique each week and perfom perfect push ups each day
  3. Work on stamina and endurance
So, I've updated my goals accordingly. I'm meeting with Coach Crystal on Thursday to work on the kipping movement. It's high time I get these pull ups right. No more meaty hands!

I am ready to DO WORK and see results. Time for bad-assery.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Paleo Recipes and Nutrition Resources

New to Paleo/Primal eating or need some new recipes and nutirtional motivation?! Check out these blogs and websites for a whole mess of good info:

Whole9 Blog
Eat Clean Live Strong Blog
Paleo Food
The Label Says Paleo Blog
Everyday Paleo Blog
Robb Wolf Blog
The Clothes Make the Girl Blog
Mark's Daily Apple
Living Paleo
Primal Eating Modern Table

Ok, now you have no excuse to "go Paleo/Primal". Eat real food and be healthy!

Got any other resources to share? Holler at me!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spartan 300 Challenge Goals

Alright, it's time! I met with my team last night and set my fitness goals for the next 8 weeks during the Spartan Challenge.

By June 26, I will:
1. Achieve 18% Body Fat (-5% from where I am today)
2. Follow Paleo/Zone nutirition at least 90% of the time (follow my food journal here)
3. Limit alcohol consumption to 4 servings per week
4. Run or Row 3 miles twice per week
5. 10 consecutive kipping pull ups
6. 10 consecutive "perfect" push ups

They don't call it a CHALLENGE for nothin'! If you know me well, you know that I love my daily glass of vino and my whiskey on the weekends. So for the next 8 weeks, I'm going to have to find healthier ways to relax and kill time.

Here's the benchmark workout that I will take on this Saturday May 8, and again on Saturday, June 26.

"Spartan 300" WOD:
25 Pullups
50 Deadlift (95#)
50 Pushups
50 Box jumps
50 Floor wipers (95#)
50 KB Clean and Press (25#)
25 Pullups

 = 300 reps!

My goal for Saturday is to be able to complete this WOD as Rx in the time alloted - that means kipping pullups, pushups from toes, and all Rx weight in 20 minutes or less. By the end of the challenge, my goal will be to CRUSH my benchmark time. And, hopefully look ripped doing so.

I'll post this weekend on my benchmark WOD time and maybe even a "before" photo. Wish me luck...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Workout hell week - part deux

In terms of workouts, this week looks bonkers. Thankfully, Doc gave me the green light to lift and use the rotator cuff. Just need to warm-up with my exercises and ice afterwards. Done and done.

Ok, so here's what I'm lookin at this week:

Monday: CrossFit WOD with my new co-ed class coached by Travis and Ben.

Fight Gone Bad (2 rounds; 1 minute at each station, 1 minute rest between rounds, as many reps as possible)
Wall ball (14#)
SDLHP (55#)
Box Jump (20")
Push Press (55#)
Row for calories

Last time I got 167, so I'm shooting to beat that. My strategy is to pace myself through the first few exercises and rest only during that one minute between rounds. Gonna be a lung burner, for shizzle.

Update: I scored 163. Boo! First round was great, then my allergies started to bother me. By the time I got home, I was a sneezing mess. So bad, I had to get a steriod shot on Tuesday, to shut down the histamine response my body swas producing. Uggghh. I'm blaming my poor performance on not being able to breathe through my nose. My partner Jennifer killed it with a score of 201! Way to go!!
Tues: 6:00 pm meeting with my Spartan Challenge team (and body comps!) then CrossFit WOD with the O.G. co-ed class at 6:45 pm.

Update: Body comp wasn't so bad. I've lost a few more inches and 3% body fat since the last assessment, but I still want to lose 5% more. This is one of my Spartan Challenge goals. When I got to class, I had a nice WOD waiting for me. Back Squat warmup sets of 10 squats @95, 115, 135, 145 #, then for time: 30 BS (135#), 200 m sprint, 30 burpees. My time was 7:32. I was pooped. Legs are on fire today!!

Wed: Cinco de Mayo celebration!!  Run, row, shoulder work. Then tequila.

Thurs: CrossFit WOD at 6:45 pm

Fri: Run, stretch, sleep!

Sat: 7 AM Spartan Challenge benchmark workout

Sun: 9 AM Oly Lifting Class