Monday, July 21, 2014

Crossfit Magnus Competition Results

 Yesterday thirteen brave souls competed in the 2014 Crossfit Magnus Affiliate Beast Box RX Beatdown Inferno Hopper Throwdown Gauntlet Open Invitational Challenge Gamez!  To kick off the competion, there was a clean and jerk max effort event. We then  had the pleasure of flipping tractor tires, carrying kegs, and doing a farmer's carry with 200 pounds.  The final event consisted of a twelve minute AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) that involved a barbell lift, running, kettlebell swings and lateral burpees.  FYI lateral burpees are like regular burpees except you hop over a barbell laterally (sideways) in between each rep.

I missed both my attempts at 175 pounds (79 kilos) in the clean and jerk unfortunately, a weight I easily surpassed a month ago.  This made it difficult to push through the other events, since I was effectively out of the competition.  Hopefully this will make me more disciplined and more dedicated in the long term.

Every sport is specialized.  If I want to be more competitive, I would need to focus in that area and give up some of my other recreational endeavors.  Since I enjoy rock climbing too much, as well as the occasional mountain bike ride and surf session, I will just have to let the cards fall where they may.  It's all just for "funsies," but I can't much help being a competitive person.

Anyhow I apologize for the crummy photos from my ancient ancient iPhone.  Anyone wishing to donate to my upgrade fund for a newer iPhone (which have better cameras) is certainly welcome :-)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sinclair Coefficient in Weightlifting

Hello once again everyone,
Saturday I will be competing in the 2014 Crossfit Magnus Affiliate Beast Box RX Beatdown Inferno Hopper Throwdown Gauntlet Open Invitational Challenge Gamez!  It's an in-house competition that was not heavily publicized, so there are only five male competitors and eight female competitors.  The proprietors of Crossfit Magnus have organized the event in order to raise money to build a shower in the facility, and for everyone to have a grand ol' time throwin' around some iron.

This evening I ate my "pre-competition" meal at Food Not Bombs at Colonel Summers Park, and spent some time working on circus tricks.  This is probably not the recommended routine the day before a competition, but it was tremendous fun socializing with people.  We met a couple visiting from France and did some balancing with them, as well as some attempts at unicycling.  There was also a couple that hitchhiked and rode freight trains all the way from Virginia to Oregon.  I enjoy Food Not Bombs because it is grass-roots and community-oriented help-each other all-around goodness.  I suppose I should attend more often.

Anyhow, the competition tomorrow will consist of three events.  The first event is clean and jerk max, and will be judged according to these standards.  The scoring is based on something I haven't heard before, called the Sinclair Coefficient.  Essentially, the Sinclair coefficient is a formula based on current world records in each weight class, that allows us to compare athletes in different weight classes.  This is an added advantage for me, as normally in Crossfit there are no weight classes, and I am a 35 to 45 pounds lighter than ideal weight for this sport. 

The other two events are secret, and we can only speculate at this point.  Well I best be resting up for tomorrow.  Adieu for now.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Most Prescribed Drug of All Time

Sovaldi, the newly-launched, $1000 a pill Hepatitis C drug, may be one of the most expensive drugs around.  But what is the most prescribed drug of all time? I had to look that one up.  Hydrocodone combined with acetaminophen.  Not to be combined with other drugs that contain acetaminophen (which are many), due to liver toxicity.

Now if there was a prescription drug that had practically zero negative side effects, and countless positive side effects, was inexpensive, and could help with everything from high blood pressure, depression, life expectancy and libido, would you take it?  It's widely known in medical research that this drug already exists, and it's called... e-x-e-r-c-i-s-e.

Well, sorry to deflate your hopes there!  If exercise were in a convenient pill form that you could get pick-up at the pharmacy during your grocery shopping, everyone would be taking it every day.

Unfortunately curriculum regarding exercise (and nutrition) are nearly non-existent in pretty much any medical school in the country focusing on Western medicine. I had a rough idea that this was the case, but at a recent holiday gathering, I was conversing with a semi-retired heart doctor, who was complaining in regards to the fifteen pounds of belly fat he deemed impossible to lose.  If doctors can't figure out how to regulate their weight, what hope do the rest of us have? It should be no surprise that you cannot wait for Western medicine to include preventative medicine in its curriculum.  If you are willing to take the initiative, you have hope.  Otherwise, you're out of luck.

Further Reading on the subject:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Crossfit Games 2014 Quick Update

Annie Thorisdottir
Photo credit: Helgi Halldórsson/Freddi / Foter / CC BY-SA
     Hello from SE Portland once again.  Here's a quick update of the 2014 Crossfit Open. We have the familiar faces of Samantha Briggs (2013 World Champion) and Rich Froning (Champion for as long as I can remember!) standing far atop the men's and women's leaderboards respectively.  In second place for the women is Annie Thorisdottir of Iceland, multiple World Champ attempting to come back after missing last year's competitions due to injury. Well it looks like Annie is back!  The competition, however, is stronger now, and has become stiffer with each successive year.

     Can the defending champions hold on, or will prior champions such as Jason Khalipa and Thorisdottir reclaim the their titles?  Or perhaps we will see someone new altogether?  It's far too early to tell, as the Open is the only the first of the rounds of competitions, and typically entails more human-scale workouts than the other competitions.  The succeeding rounds of competition will see the weightier weights and semi-masochistic requirements formulated by the mastermind madman himself, Dave Castro.  Last year Castro commanded competitors in the finals row a half-marathon as part of one of the competitions.  What sick and twisted routines we will see in 2014?
Rich Froning
Photo credit: TonyFelgueiras / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

     Competitors around the Pacific Northwest can rest easy, however, in the knowledge that I am not competing :).  After trying out three gyms in the last nine months though, I am fortunate to have found and joined a Crossfit gym that I think is going to work out (no pun intended) quite well.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Magic 50

Photo credit: N.Manytchkine / / CC BY-SA
Hello again!  Apologies for my long hiatus from the blogging world, but I haven't had much to say. While I am no longer training clients at this time, I am still a certified Crossfit trainer.  I am still training, and I am still following the latest news and information in the fitness world.  One day the time will come when I return to take a more active role in the industry.

I was fortunate to take a fairly long international vacation in November and I have recently fought back to the fitness level prior to when I left.  As I write this, I am procrastinating in doing my favorite kettlebell session. This session is called "The Magic 50."  I don't recall where I first saw this, but I am not claiming to have made this combination of movements up myself.

There's really nothing magic about it, and any trainer who claims there a "magic" or "secret" workout, you should run from fast as you can in the opposite direction.  I am only calling it "magic" because that's the name that other people call it.  Here is what is involved:

Five rounds:
10 burpees
5 clean and press with kettlebell, left arm
5 clean and press with kettlebell, right arm
10 kettlebell swings

This session has a nice combination of strength and endurance.  Not too long, not too short, and does not require much equipment.  While you might get some strange looks from your housemates, you can do this in your living room.  Just don't drop your kettlebell and break your floor!

If you are thinking about shopping for a kettlebell, one place that I like dealing with is called Rogue Fitness. Rogue has excellent customer service, and all their products are made in the USA.

Time to stop procrastinating and go do my session!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Portland Tribune Story: "Fat? Check Your Zip Code"

Photo credit: mugley / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Recently wondered about how body mass index, neighborhoods and income all relate, and then boom, out comes this article.  Fascinating stuff, and worth at least a speed read.  Here it is:

Fat? Check your Zip Code

No offense intended... but if you rarely leave city limits, and then one day go shopping at Target in the suburbs, it's totally bizarre.  Because everybody is suddenly larger.  You're only a few minutes away, and it feels like a different planet.  And if you go to the City Target in downtown, it's the slim alternates of the suburb people.

Living in the suburbs certainly has advantages, but lower walk scores are not one of those.  What is the walk score for your neighborhood?  A walk score is a rating for how close schools, transportation, grocery stores, and other businesses are to you.  I am spoiled
here in hipster SE, with a walk score of 85.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Which way are you going?

Pistol Squat  ***  Photo Credit: David Castillo Dominici

When I ask which way are you going, what I mean is this... How do you know your exercise program is effective?

Most people don't know unfortunately.  The only way to know the effectiveness is by measurement in a controlled environment.  This means recording not only the amount of weights, and the amount of reps, but also the time it takes to do the work.

I'll admit I'm a little biased, but this is one of several things that Crossfit does very well.  The coach at your box (gym) is timing your session.  Whether or not you are recording the results, and occasionally comparing last months results to present results is up to you.

Your physical capabilities last year are not important now.  Actually I often run into people telling me about their athletic accomplishments from several years ago, or even from their high school days.  That is ancient history!

In fact, your physical capabilities today, are not as important as what direction you are going.  Are you getting stronger and closer to where you want to be?  Are you maintaining? Are you losing strength and endurance imperceptibly?

Losing strength and endurance happens to most people imperceptibly.  It is often impercetible even when this atrophy is occurring relatively quickly, and at a rate that cannot be attributed to age alone.  Don't age into an older person that cannot get up out of a chair (squat), or cannot pickup up a twenty pound bag of dog food (deadlift).

Happy lifting!