Monday, September 19, 2011

Crossfit Is Just For Elite Athletes? Myth Busted!

CrossFit Isn’t Just For Hardcore Fitness Maniacs

Crossfit is for anyone who wants to improve their fitness and live a healthier lifestyle.
While CrossFit certainly is for hardcore fitness maniacs, it’s for everyone else too. You may have never worked out a day in your life, but I guarantee you if you walked into CrossFit Elysium and joined up, the first thing that would happen is that you’d be warmly welcomed by the coaches and the other box members, and the coaches would devise a routine for you to get started. Ultimately you’ll be training alongside CrossFitters representing a broad scale of ability and experience—but workouts will be scaled to your level. I have met several CrossFitters that live at the higher frequencies of the EM band—they remind me of wrestlers who lived on my dorm floor at the University of Iowa many years ago—they exist 24/7 in a vacuum of extreme discipline—severe diet protocols, eradication of distraction, living in compression wear, not really smiling much and transmitting an overall level of grimness. I have nothing but admiration for these folks. Although—just as it was for me living in the Hillcrest dorm near Dan Gable’s Hawkeye wrestlers—I like enjoying a cold beer more often than once a month. And from what I’ve seen a more moderate approach applies to most of the CrossFitters in the world. My point? CrossFit is for anyone interested. In a way the perception versus the reality reminds me of triathlon. Maybe people assume that being a triathlete means peeling off Ironmans. But most of the triathletes in the USA are doing short triathlons that take an hour or less and can be more inclusive than running events. Same with CrossFit: it’s for all.  Continued here

Better To Run Barefoot?

Better to Run Barefoot?
What do you think of running barefoot? I've read that you're less likely to get injured if you don't wear shoes.
Answer (Published 9/19/2011)
In the running world there appears to be quite a controversy developing about whether it's best to wear shoes or to train yourself to run barefoot. A number of champion runners have made their mark in bare feet, and obviously, before there were shoes, humans who ran did so barefoot. The main argument for barefoot running seems to be that it causes you to land on your forefoot rather than the heel, as you do when running in shoes. Landing on the forefoot is supposed to be less jarring and therefore less likely to lead to injuries
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The question of whether running barefoot leads to fewer injuries was heatedly debated at the American College of Sports Medicine's 2011 annual meeting. I doubt that those on either side of the argument were satisfied with the conclusions. Barefoot runners are convinced that they're less likely to hurt themselves. That may be true if you grew up not wearing shoes and always ran barefoot. But you can hurt yourself in the process of adjusting to barefoot running if you're used to shoes. A Harvard University website notes that there have been no studies of risk of injury with barefoot running, but it does list hypothetical advantages, including fewer repetitive stress injuries, especially stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and runner's knee. Other advantages may be a strengthening of the foot muscles, and the use of less energy. And running barefoot makes some people feel good.
Before you get that far, you've got to develop calluses on your feet; until you do, the Harvard site advocates wearing light, flexible shoes. (You can get so-called "barefoot running shoes.") In addition, switching from shoes to bare feet requires a change in running form that isn't automatic. It demands a shorter stride than most runners are accustomed to, for instance, and making the change may not be easy - the Harvard site recommends a slow transition to avoid injury
Another issue is where you run and the likelihood of encountering glass, stones and other debris. If road surface safety is not an issue and barefoot running appeals to you, there's no reason not to try it. I wouldn't count on it to prevent injuries, though. Until we have studies to tell us whether or not barefoot running is actually safer, I would assume that you're just as likely to sustain an injury running barefoot as you would be wearing shoes.
Andrew Weil, M.D.

Become A Better Runner Without Running (List of good list of exercises)

In case you're not already in a exercise plan outside of running, you should start with something like what's mentioned in this article.  Nothing helps running like running, but you must be concerned with your PaleoBody a.k.a. 'everything else' :).  The kettle bells post from Friday will cover all the bases, but in case you're allergic to Iron there's other effective movements that will contribute to your overall wellness.  This month's Competitor magazine suggests throwing a set of burpees at the end of a run- we guarantee you'll recover faster!  --we also learned Burpees is someone's name- Royal H Burpee.  So after a run, or after a day of NO activity, think did I include some mobility, some range of motion, some strength work today?  

Crossfit Lite: 

Become A Better Runner Without Running

Give this high-intensity cross-training workout a try!
Written by: Linzay Logan
The single best way to become a better runner is to, well, run. Adding distance, speed, and changing terrain are all great ways to test your limits as a runner and to become faster and more powerful. However, cross training can be just as beneficial when incorporated into your run training. Lifting weights can make you stronger and doing other varieties of cardio can work your muscles and lungs to become more powerful.
My favorite way to cross train is to incorporate short high-intensity bursts of cardio into weight lifting for a one-hour workout. I teach this format of group fitness twice a week and it has certainly has had a positive impact on my run. Add this cross training workout to your running schedule once a week and you will see a difference in your race times and maybe even your biceps, too.
Complete every cardio exercise for one minute and for every weighted exercise complete three sets of 12 to 20 reps. Use weights that are heavy enough that you feel very fatigued by the end of the three sets. If you can complete all three sets without fatiguing the muscles, increase your weight or complete more reps.
Warm up for five to 10 minutes with an easy run.
-Try pulsing on the last rep at the bottom of the squat for eight counts as well as taking the squats at a faster and slower pace. It works the muscles differently.
Bicep Curls
-Alternate sets of hammer and regular curl.
Jumping Jacks
-Make sure your arms are strong and straight and your heels are touching the ground at every jack.
Mountain Climbers
-Try and stay a plank position and avoid sticking your butt up in the air—it makes it easier.
Static Lunges
-Don’t lunge your front knee over your toes. Concentrate on going straight down and straight up.
Driving The Car
-Hold a five to 10 pound plate for the barbell or a hand weight with both hands straight out in front of you.  Then move your hands like you were driving left to right in a car. Keep driving for 20 to 30 seconds. This should make your shoulders burn.
-Explode off the ground when you jump up.
Front Kicks
-Alternate left and right focusing on bringing up the knee first then extending the knee.
PliƩ Squat
-Your feet should be at least three or four feet apart and your toes should point out. Tuck your tailbone under and squat straight down and straight up.
Tricep Extensions
-Keep your elbows in close enough to feel your biceps grazing the sides of your head.
Squat Jumps
-Use your arms to power up your jump.
Jump Rope
-Jump side to side, front to back and straight up and down.
-Your arms should be about as wide as a yoga mat. Set your knees down if you can’t complete a regular push-up.
-Make sure your body is aligned straight from the top of your head to your heels and engage your abs.

That Paleo Guy: Fat Metabolism, Glycerol, and Improved Hydration

That Paleo Guy: Fat Metabolism, Glycerol, and Improved Hydration: A series of tweets in the last day or so reminded me of a conversation I had with Dr Emily Deans during our recent stay in Los Angeles for ...