Training Through Injury

It happens to all of us.  We are going about our normal lives then….BAM! We get injured.  It could be something chronic that has slowly built up over time or something acute such as a broken leg.  However it happens is irrelevant.  What matters is that it happened and now you have to figure out what to do. The way I see it you have 2 choices:

  1. Act like the world has ended and hide in your home eating oreos and brownies until the injury heals
  2. Figure out ways to work around it

Personally I have tried both approaches and I can tell you that option number 1, though it feels great at the time, is not the way to go.

You see even if you don’t realize it there is something powerful about coming to the gym.  Including it as part of your daily routine is more important than you may think.  When you come in each and every day you give yourself that 1 hour to unwind, to relax and to release stress.  You get to socialize and hang out with all of your like minded fitness friends.  Last but not least exercise releases a boat load of beneficial hormones that help you feel great. If you stop coming to the gym because of an injury all of a sudden you lose all of that.

The trap that I see a lot of people fall into is that they focus only on what they CANNOT do.  I broke my leg so I CANNOT squat, I CANNOT deadlift, I CANNOT run. So they don’t come to the gym because in their mind they CANNOT workout.  Before you know it you are depressed and feeling miserable.  And guess what happens next?  Your mind starts playing this interesting game.  You start to get this little voice in your head saying “If I can’t workout I might as well just eat whatever I want.”  You know you’ve heard that voice before.  Now all of your progress and hard work goes down the drain in this cascading of unfortunate events.

But…it doesn’t have to be that way.  Just because you are injured doesn’t mean you cannot work out.  You need to shift your focus from what you cannot do to what you CAN do.  Have a broken leg?  Great!  Now you will finally have the chance to focus on nothing but upper body strength work to get that muscle up you have always wanted.  Broken arm?  Sweet! You will learn to love the airdyne and get really good at pistols or pulling the sled.  I have had people row before with broken legs, the broken leg is off to the side on a skate board and they row 1 legged.  Other than the initial recovery after a surgery or traumatic injury there is no reason you cannot continue to stay healthy and make progress.  You just might have to shift focus for a bit.

By continuing to train you can actually increase recovery time and lessen the time it takes you to get back to 100% once you are fully healed.

So stay healthy, but if something happens remember: It’s not the end of the world.

Spartan Race Team

I have been wanting to do a Spartan Race for some time now but doing it alone is never fun.  So in my infinite wisdom I have decided to grab all of my favorite friends (you guys!) and make you do it with me!

We are going to be doing the Spartan Super at Mountain Creek Resort in Vernon, NJ on November 4th.  Now I know what you are thinking….”Dan, can I do this?”  Hell yes you can. The race is 8-10 miles in length but you won’t be doing it all continuously.  There are 24-29 obstacles scattered throughout the course.  So that means you will do some running, then hit an obstacle, then move on.  If you train with us 3 days/ week you will be fine.  If the running makes you nervous adding in an additional easy run day once per week will help relieve those fears.

The goal of this group event is to have fun as a team.  We plan on staying together as a group and making sure everyone makes it through.  Depending on how many people sign up we might be able to break into 2-3 different groups based on ability level and pace.  However we will NOT leave anyone behind.  I don’t want to have groups of less than 3-4.  This way we can all help each other out as we make our way through the course.

Because it is a 2 hour and 15 minute drive we will be doing the afternoon heat which starts at 12:15.  We can iron out all of the details as it gets closer to the event but to give you an idea of the day here is what it will probably look like:

  • Meet at gym around 7:30am to carpool
  • Leave gym by 8:00am
  • Arrive at resort by 10:30am
  • It’s a 20 minute shuttle from the parking to the race, so get to race location by 11:00
  • Sign in
  • Wander around
  • Race!

Plan on it being a full day, we can stop and get some food on the way home.

The cost right now is $129 but the price goes up the longer you wait. When you register join our team “CrossFit True”.  Check out the race page here for more information and to sign up.

It’s gonna be awesome!

The Final Countdown

Our next nutrition challenge is just around the corner and we are very excited to get started. Even if you decided not to participate this time around there is info in this blog that will be beneficial so keep reading.

One of the best motivators for sticking with your fitness & healthy diet is accountability. We are luck enough to have a great support system right here at CrossFIt True, the people you are surrounded with all have a desire to become healthier and with that kind of support we can accomplish anything.  (we currently have 17 people taking on this challenge!!!! Look below to find out who)

So,I ask even if you are not doing the challenge take part by helping those who are stay on track. Ask them how the challenge is going, share a healthy recipe, and participate in the workouts along side them. It can be challenging to make the right decision when no one is looking, but with a group supporting you, you’ll have the desire to not let them down and the better choice become easier.

In our nutrition talk I mentioned the value of being prepared. With the start of the challenge just days away, you should already be starting this preparation process (even if it’s just figuring out how you are going to be successful).

Here is how I break it down so I don’t get overwhelmed:

 

Thursday/Friday

-Start thinking about what I want to eat for the week and make a grocery list of the foods I will need.

 

Friday/Saturday

-Food shopping I like to do this on a different day than I am going to do my food prep. If I try to do both…I get cranky.

 

Sunday…..PREP DAY

-This is when I cook the majority of my food.

 

The bad news is that it does take a bit of time and organization.

 

The good news is you won’t have to do any other cooking or dishes for the rest of the week!!!

 

It’s a great trade off!

 

Resources

Now is the time to get to know the layout of the Lurong website, they have tons of great resources that you’ll want to take advantage of. On the main screen when you log in there is a side bar on the right-hand-side this is where you’ll find most of your resources. (except for the food search engine that is under nutrition & tools)

 

Food Summary Charts:

These are the same lists I have hanging at the gym next to our check in station. These charts are a broad list of what foods fall into which category.

 

***Remember you are not choosing one category for the entire challenge. Rather you are trying to eat as many meals and snacks at the best level possible.***

 

Meal Plans

There are two different meal plans that will take you through all 6-weeks. It lays out everything you could possible need.

All the meals

A grocery shopping list

What you should prep before hand to make everything run smooth.

 

Recipe Books

There are 3 different recipe books. These do not include a shopping list or how to prep, but they are FULL or amazing recipes to try. (and if you do let us know what you think on our FB page)

 

Nutrition U

These are a series of articles about nutrition. Everything from keeping your sugar balances so you don’t crash to grocery store video tours.

 

Food Search Engine

Not sure which category (elite/pro/starter) a particular food falls into? Use the Food search engine to help you make the right decision.

 

Macro Option

If you are taking the next step and looking to count your macros, I highly suggest downloading My Fitness Pal (MFP) or another calorie/macro counting app.

If you are on MFP you can request to be friends with me and then you’ll be able to see my food diary. My user name is Moe0139

Unless you do the premium version on MFP (I just use the free version)  you won’t be able to put in an exact macro count, you’ll need to use percentages and just get them as close as possible.

If this is your first time counting macros, allow yourself errors. Counting macros can be overwhelming….it’s like learning the Snatch…there are a ton of moving parts and to make them all flow together….well that takes time and consistent practice. Keep at it and it will come together.

 

Huge Shout out to all of those participating (if you see them around give them a high-five and continue to encourage them)

 

Brittany Munn

Cindy B.

Dan R.

Dave V.

Elaine

Erika

Jeremy

Jessica S.

Julia

Kristin

Landis

Lou

Meg F.

Moe

Nyrva

Sarah G.

Sue

Counting your Macros

The science around diet and exercise can be overwhelming and confusing. Information that is constantly being updated, research studies that don’t tell the whole truth, and that amazing thing that worked for a friend of a friend.

 

The latest in this trend of this information overload is counting your macros. The idea of counting macros can be very useful because it can be tweaked specifically for each individual and their needs.

But before we can get into counting macros we first need to understand what marcos are and how they are used by our bodies.

 

The three main nutrients that comprise the human diet, also known as Macro Nutrients are

Fats, Proteins, and Carbohydrates.

Each macro-nutrient plays an important role in the way our bodies function byproviding it with energy. Proteins are used for growth, tissue repair, and help

maintain body functions. Fats digest slowly, making us feel fuller longer andhelp us absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D. Carbohydrates provide us with quick usable energy.

The ratio of each macronutrient that is necessary for an individual varies according to many factors.

  • Activity Level
  • Goals
  • Body Composition
  • Age
  • Hormones

In order to determine your macronutrient needs, you first need to establish your total daily caloric needs (the base of our nutritional pyramid). Knowing your total calorie intake is essential because each macronutrient has a calorie amount that it correlates to and at the end of the day regardless of how many calories you are eating, your macro-nutrients need to add up to your total calories.

Macronutrient Calories per Gram

  • Carbohydrates: 1 gram = 4 calories
  • Protein: 1 gram = 4 calories
  • Fats: 1 gram = 9 calories

If you would like to learn more about nutrition and our upcoming nutrition challenge join us for an interactive nutrition seminar on Tuesday September 12th @ 5:30pm. We will be discussing different aspect of nutrition, helpful tips to keep you on track and detail of the nutrition challenge.

End of Summer Committed Club (Jul & Aug 2017)

With all the craziness going on this summer I realized I never posted the committed club results for July.  So today you get the totals for both July and August in one shot!

What do I have to do to get into the Committed Club?

It’s easy! Just attend classes 12 times during the month or an average of 3 days/week and you’re in. 3 days/week is that sweet spot where you can really make some serious progress and not get burnt out. As you continue to develop as an athlete you will be able to handle more days and really accelerate your progress.

July 2017 Committed Club

Kristin R. 21 Classes
Jess T. 21 Classes
Sue 17 Classes
Marc P. 15 Classes
Wil 13 Classes
Lou M. 13 Classes
Meg F. 12 Classes
Tracy 12 Classes
Roz 12 Classes
Jess S 12 Classes

July was a busy month for most of us but I love seeing that you all choose to commit to your health and commit to your fitness.  Congratulations to our two top athletes Jess T. and Kristin who both tied at 21 classes.  And a big shout out to Sue for climbing up the ladder into the third spot after being a runner up last month with 11 classes.

New to the committed club for the first time in July or back after a month off were Tracy,  Meg F & Sue. Great work you guys!

Big shout out to our consistent members Kristin, Jess T, Marc, Wil, Lou, Roz and Jess S.Jess S. for making the club at least 2 months in a row. Keep it up!

Runners Up with 11 classes.
Keep pushing and you all will be there next month!

Jess H.
MG
**thats 2 months in a row at 11 classes for Jess and MG, come on you two you can get to 12!**
John S.
Joe A.

August 2017 Committed Club

 Jess T. 25 Classes
Dave 17  Classes
Marc 17 Classes
Sue 16 Classes
 Kristin 14 Classes
Dana 14 Classes
Lou 13 Classes
 Elaine 13 Classes
 John S. 13 Classes
Ben 12 Classes
Roz 12 Classes
Wil 12 Classes
Jess H. 12 Classes

August was a great month, we had lots of people on the committed club.  It’s great to see how motivated everyone is. Congratulations to Jess T. for dominating the month with 25 classes.  That’s two months in a row in the top spot for her.

New to the committed club for the first time in August or back after a month off were Dave, Dana, Elaine, John S, Ben, Jess H (great work getting here Jess!  After 2 months in the runner up spot it is awesome to see you here.) Great work you guys!

Big shout out to our consistent members Jess T, Marc, Sue, Kristin, Lou, Roz and Wil for making the club at least 2 months in a row. Keep it up!

Runners Up with 11 classes.
Keep pushing and you all will be there next month!

Gina
Rob
Shannon
MG (that’s 3 months in a row at 11 Meg, come on you can do it!)
Jess S.

Don’t see your name on the list? Make sure you sign in to each and every class.

What I Put In My Belly

With the upcoming nutrition challenge and the start of the school year, everyone wants to buckle down and get back to their routine I thought it would be helpful to give you a glimpse into what I put in my belly on a daily basis.

It was brought to my attention thru the past few nutrition consults that I have done over the past month that there are a variety of issues surrounding food. Those of us who eat too much….those who eat too little…..those who attempt to eat “healthy” but are overwhelmed and the list goes on. So I thought it would be fun to show you just what I eat all day long.

But before you just scroll down a few things to keep in mind:

My diet is not perfect

This day is what is typical, my 90%, but I have days where I go off and enjoy some of the more delicious things in life.

What works for me won’t work for you

We are each unique.We have different dietary needs based on our goals, current weight, age, and activity level.

Even what I am doing now might not be what I need in 6-months

As we progress, as our goals change, so to does our nutrition.

I love to eat

And all the things that go into eating, cooking, even grocery shopping. Because I love to eat and I also love fitness, I need to choose nutrient dense foods. Its amazingly easy to have too many calories if your day starts with a Dunkin Donuts Bacon, Egg, & Cheese and your lunch is from Chipotle.  But if you are eating vegetables, fruits, lean meats, etc….the quantity you get to eat is huge…..I love being able to eat large quantities.

My photography skills are terrible

Not only that, but I most of my meals are stuffed into glass containers and contents are much larger than they appear.

If you come to the morning classes you know I can’t start my day without coffee….black (this stared because of a nutrition challenge and I never went back to my light & sweet)

Breakfast:

Egg whites, sweet potatoes, & chicken sausage. This is what I eat basically everyday for breakfast…..most of the time it’s with ground turkey instead of the chicken sausage,but I had a coupon.

Snack:

Not the best choice,but I was hungry and I didn’t have anything handy, and I love crunchy sourdough bread. I was so hungry that I forgot to take a picture of what I actually ate.

Lunch:

This usually changes every other week or so because it get old and I want some new flavors. Right now I have been on a kick of arugula, grilled chicken, goat cheese, peaches, and homemade creamy balsamic.

After Lunch Sweet Treat:

Chocolate. I make sure to portion this out and then put the bag away so that I don’t overeat them…I could eat this whole bag.

 

And an afternoon coffee while I work on some lesson plans

When I got home from the gym I was hungry, but I had a few things to do before I wanted to sit down and eat dinner. So I grabbed a quick snack

Grilled chicken breast and some Awesome Sauce (this is the best stuff…is basically a homemade thousand island…but so much better…its awesome.)

 

And finally dinner:

 

Little corn tortilla tacos…stuffed with ground turkey, rice, salsa, and topped with full fat greek yogurt.

 

Here is what it looks like in My Fitness Pal

 

So, there you go a day in the life of what I eat. As you can see in My Fitness Pal, I didn’t actually hit my calories and macros and this is ok. The way I’ve found that works for me is to look at a week rather than 1 day at a time. Over the course of the week I want my average to equal out to these numbers. That might mean on this day I am a bit short,but on another day I might be over. (this is not right or wrong, but rather MAINTAINABLE for me)

The benefits of long, slow cardio

I am sure you have all heard the many touted benefits of endurance or cardio vascular training before.  How it effects heart health, yadda, yadda, yadda.  I don’t want to discuss just the physical benefits of the training today (though I will mention it in a way you may not have heard of before).  Today I want to take a look at the mental benefits and then how those mental benefits can interact and work together with some physical ones.

So before we start, what exactly is long slow endurance work?  I try to look at it as an effort that can be maintained indefinitely.  Going for a walk for 30 minutes at an easy pace might be this, or even an easy run or bike or swim.  The catch is that the pace needs to be a sustainable one.  So if you went out for a 30 minute run and then at minute 25 I told you to keep going for 60 minutes you should be able to keep on rolling at the same pace.  If you can’t then it wasn’t truly sustainable work.

Now that we know what sustainable endurance work is how can you train it?  It’s easy really, go out for 30-60 minutes and do something.  Walk the dog, walk, run, ride the airdyne while watching TV at night, whatever!  To progress you can either increase the time you go for, the number of sessions per week you do or slightly increase the difficulty i.e. walking with a small backpack.  You don’t want to go crazy and make it “hard work”.  You should feel refreshed after this type of work, not tired or beat up.

There are some really great benefits when you do this type of training regularly.  First off it gives you a chance to “unplug”.  I would challenge you to try to get it done without your cell phone, no music, just you and nature.  If you can’t get outside ride the bike inside and read a book.  You can get in a nice rhythm with your breathing, the cadence of you step and all that is around you.  For me this is something I used to do a lot of years ago and have just recently started doing again.  I forgot how great it feels to actually breath and just relax.  It becomes a form of meditation for me and I am just realizing how much I have missed it.  I have started riding my bike to the gym when I workout, except for Wednesdays where I have been running.  It’s about a15 minute bike or a 30 minute jog  each way and gives me just the right amount of time to relax my mind and get ready to work.  The way home is a perfect cool down. Once it starts getting cold/dark early I am going to have to move my training indoors.  Below is a sample of a multiple modality “around the world” style piece I used to do a few years ago in the morning:

20 minutes at an easy sustainable pace:
250m Row
20m bear crawl
20 cal AD
40 single unders
200m Jog (outside or shuttles in gym)
30s Plank
*every single round you get should be EXACTLY the same time.  you should feel good throughout and after.  Over time you can slowly increase the total time and/or mess with the distance/reps of each individual exercise.

Just remember no matter what you choose it must be sustainable work that you could maintain for a very long duration (over an hour).  The goal is not to go hard and be exhausted but to get blood moving and feel good.

There are also some great physical benefits from this long slow work as well.  For CrossFitters it allows us to flush our systems, literally.  While you are moving you are pumping blood and moving nutrients into your muscles and waste away from them.  As long as you are truly doing sustainable work you will notice the recovery benefits quickly.  At the same time you are also building your capacity or “engine”.  At a cellular level your body is becoming more efficient at moving oxygen and carbon dioxide in and out of the cells respectfully.  This transfers to all other facets of your training.

So I challenge you to do some long slow cardio work 1-2 times per week this month and note your results.  Remember this doesn’t mean go for a 1 mile run after class where you are pushing it.  It should be a pace where you can carry a conversation and laugh without effort.  You can hop on the rower and do a nice easy 20mintue cool down working on technique after any class or even as a warm up before class.  The airdyne is also an option.  Are you a cyclist?  Bring your trainer into the gym and do some easy work before or after class while hanging out with all the amazing people we have here.  During the winter I am going to go back to doing 12″ box step ups for 20+ minutes continuously and slowing increasing the time and possibly eventually with a light weight vest.  Then towards the end of the winter season maybe even up to a heavier vest as long as it is truly sustainable work. There are multiple possibilities just use your imagination and find something that works for you.

So here it is again lets make it official and try to do 2- 20 minute+ sessions of truly sustainable aerobic work each week for the month of September.  Your rest days from the gym are a great time to fit these in.  Think about it as “Actuive Recovery” and not exercise to keep the effort low.  During the summer I mow the lawn on sundays with a weight vest as my active recovery day and its great.

Have fun!

September is the NEW January

Forget waiting to make that New Year’s Resolution, September is the new January….the time to reset, to form new healthy habits, and take control of your health. As summer is winding down (sad face) we start focusing on our next big steps and that requires a bit more structure in our lives

 

Regardless if your routine changes much over the summer months, summer has a more relaxed feel, we let ourselves off the hook a bit. But now with a change in season comes a change in our mental game, we are more mentally prepared to buckle down and develop some new habits to propel us to our goals.

 

If you’ve found yourself being dragged away from the gym by sunshine, friends, and cocktails this is your time to reset….to make your comeback and be better than ever. Even if you have been staying the course it’s nice to have some additional motivation and take it to the next level.

 

Of course our classes will always offer the motivation you need to work on your weaknesses, to set new goals, and be better than yesterday. But there are a few things that will help you even more…..dialing down your nutrition and increasing the intensity of your workouts. September bring 2-events that are a MUST….

 

The first is the Lurong Nutrition Challenge. We have been doing this challenge for the past 5 years and every time I learn something new about my nutrition and i’m able to make a new habit. (5 years later and I am still getting results!). No matter what your nutrition level is there are guidelines that will fit your needs. From very basic, trying to get the most nutritious food into your diet while eliminating some of the processed foods to the more advanced Macro option where you weigh and measure you foods. There is something for everyone.

 

The second is the CrossFit Team series. If you have done the CrossFit Open in the past you know how you end up pushing yourself a bit harder, you try things you might not normally try, and you surprise yourself of what you are capable of….well its just like that, but this time you have a partner.

So, sign up. Challenge yourself. Get back on track!

Virtuosity

Back in 2005 CrossFit founder Greg Glassman wrote an article titled “Fundamentals, Virtuosity, and Mastery”.  It was written as an open letters to the current CrossFit trainers of the time however the article still has relevance to this day.

What is virtuosity?  Virtuosity is defined as “performing the common, uncommonly well”.  To me it comes down to basics and reminds me of the old saying “practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect”.  If you want to truly excel at something you need to master the basics.  You need to do the fundamentals so well that they look effortless.  I think too many people get caught up in fancy exercises or the next big thing.  They try to move past the basics too quickly because they are boring.  They can barely do a push up but they want to do ring dips and muscle ups.

This also goes for advanced athletes.  If you are trying to get that muscle up or improve the one you already have maybe what you need to do is to take a few steps back and work on improving your basic movement.  Again staying with the muscle up if you cannot perform a beautiful perfect push up and pull up then you muscle up (if you can even do it) is going to be ugly.  As you move down the continuum of more difficult movements your movement patterns will continue to degrade until you fail.

So I challenge you to open your mind while you are working out and think about your movement.  Strive for perfection, knowing you might never reach it, but working towards it nonetheless .  If you want to get better work on the foundational movements, work on making them beautiful.  A saying from the military is “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast”.  That should be your goal with movement development.

Here is a link to the above mentioned article if you wish to read it.

 

Stay virtuous!

Athlete Spotlight: Roz

What made you choose CrossFit True?
I moved here from Maine last spring and needed a new CF home, CF True seemed like the perfect fit!
How long have you been training with us?
A year I think…
What do you do for the short time of the day that you aren’t with us (i.e. a job)?
I moved to CT for nurse anesthesia school. I was an RN back in Maine prior to moving here and am currently a nurse in the MEANG (Maine Air National Guard)
How is your nutrition? Do you eat a certain way? If so when did you make the switch?
I used to be a majorly picky eater that drank Mountain Dew to the max, but then, somewhere along the way, my taste buds grew up and I now really enjoy eating healthy. I try to do the 80/20 method. Chocolate is a must after a hard day and eggs are the best because they can be inserted into every meal, I’m going for easy these days.
What are your 3 favorite movements/exercises?
I was a runner prior to joining CF, but I love some overhead squats and anything (hard) core annnd box jumps
How about a favorit WOD?
I like variety, so the 12 days of Christmas is a give me. I think it’s like 12 different movements with a partner
What is your favorite workout song?
I like something that will really get into my head like enter sandman by Metallica
What is your favorite type of workout? (AMRAP, Chipper, Ladder, Rounds for time?)
I enjoy a nice slow grind like a chipper
Have you changed at all physically or mentally since starting to train with us?
You guys are tough about perfect form, which I appreciate because I usually tell myself I am only capable of what I can do, but don’t push myself to perfect my form.  So things are starting to look much better.
What are your current goals?
Make it through anesthesia school, it is so mentally grueling, so Going to CF is my mental break of the day, but I would really like to get DU’s down!
What is your favorite color?
Olive green!
What can you do now that you weren’t able to do before training at CrossFit True?
TTB and pull ups, I’m not there yet, but I’m getting so close!
Say something else, anything!
CF True is a great family to have in CT, if you’ve never been to an outing outside of class hours, you should check it out, it’s a great time!

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