3 Tips for Winter CrossFit

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You have probably noticed our gyms are not climate controlled.

This is not an accident.

One of the things that CrossFit has taught us is the fact that strength and resilience is developed through exposure. Exposure to challenge results in adaptations to our heath and fitness.

Weather is just another form of exposure.

Our bodies have heating and cooling mechanisms built in to them.

Allowing these mechanisms to operate helps keep them functioning properly. Our bodies are a lot like any machine where a lack of use will eventually lead to degradation.

With that said, there are some things we can do to ease the discomfort of this processs and make sure we stay healthy and strong through the winter workouts.

1. WEAR LAYERS

Wear multiple (3) light layers to the gym. Begin the warm up with all of them on stripping one at a time as you start to feel your body, joints, and muscles heating up.

2. WEAR A HAT

We can lose about 50 percent of our body heat through an uncovered head (even if you aren’t as bald as me!)

3. DRINK WARM WATER

It is important to stay hydrated in the cold. We often overlook this requirement because we don’t see or feel as sweaty. However we are still losing fluids when we are exercising vigorously. 

Cold water will make us colder as our bodies will lose heat trying to warm the water to our body temperature. Try leaving your water out, at work or home or in your car. It doesn’t need to be hot, just don’t want it cold. 

Use these tips to stay safe and healthy through this winter CrossFit season!

Evaluating Paleo Foods

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Answering the question, “Is it paleo?” is your first step. This is helpful because it rules out like 99% of the shit people put in their face-holes on a daily basis. But then there is the next question… “Will it help me to my goals?” We call this categorization a split between the realms of “favorable” and “unfavorable.” Identifying these differences can be the key to your success. And also give you some shit to do since you won’t be spending all your time deciding on which flavor soda you’ll be filling your Big Gulp™️ with next.

When I was in elementary school, my teacher was teaching us about the conversion of starch into sugar. She had us chew on a piece of white bread for several minutes until the saliva broke the starch down and the “substance” in our mouths actually became sweet to the taste. Why the fuck I remember this, but not which teacher, or what school I was at, is a whole ‘nother blog. But one thing stuck with me from that foray into scientific investigation…

“I need to chew my sandwiches longer.”

Fast forward 30-something years.

If you give a shit about nutrition, performance, and body composition, you would benefit dramatically from learning how to use the glycemic index. There are many explanations of glycemic index available upon a quick Google search, but mine is better. So here goes…

The glycemic index is a chart that shows how effective a food is at spiking blood sugar level, and consequently, insulin levels.

If you have been around me and mine long enough, you have heard me communicate that the current obesity epidemic, diabetes rates, and a host of preventable cancers and chronic metabolic disorders can all be linked to chronically elevated insulin levels.

 

In a nutshell:

  1. Having a lot of insulin running though your body all the time is severely damaging (and can make you fat)
  2. Having a lot of sugar in your blood is what causes Number 1.
  3. Eating high glycemic carbs/food is what causes Number 2.

 

Even simpler:

High glycemic index = High blood insulin = Chronic disease

or

Hyperglycemia = Hyperinsulinemia = Preventable Conditions

or

Skittles/Coke/Bread/Grain/Pasta = Death

 

So, to the point, how can I use the glycemic index to make better choices of foods? Real simple. Click here for the link to the glycemic index website. Type in the food and search.

(NOTE: If you search for shit like “paleo banana-glazed-cream-filled-almond butter brownie with sugar-free-paleo caramel apple-drizzle” and it doesn’t show up, guess why.)

 

Rule of Thumb:

Table sugar = 100

Foods create a higher insulin response the closer you get to 100.

>50 – limit or avoid

<50 – more preferable

 

Keep in mind that amount, method of preparation, and balance with protein all are factors in affecting insulin levels. We will talk about this stuff later. But this is a good place to start.

The Fit Test

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When we started our gym in early 2012, I used to let people start off their introduction to CrossFit with a workout we referred to as the “Fit Test.” There are many fond and not so fond memories at my gym of this experience. The workout was:

2 Rounds for Time:

Row 500m

40 Squats

30 Situps

20 Pushups

10 Pullups

We have matured since those days and have learned that this is probably not the best way to treat someone looking to start CrossFit. We would never do this to someone today.

However, there were some very interesting observations made during that time. Things like current fitness capacity, mobility restrictions, coach ability, cognitive capacity, movement habits, will to achieve, and so on were ascertained from this initial performance.

The most interesting observation was how people responded to their results.

People tended to either see their current fitness situation, accept it, and make a decision to do something about it, OR they saw their situation, made excuses and denied it, and then went about trying to hide from it.

When our belief about our situation is out of whack with the reality of our situation, we have to do something about the inconsistency. Many choose denial. We try to convince ourselves that the facts are wrong. We try to change our beliefs and ignore all the signs that we are wrong. We deny. Then we try to avoid situations that show us we are wrong.

But occasionally, people get tired of pretending, of running, of avoiding, of denying, and we become willing to look at the facts. We become willing to accept reality.

Then, every once in a while, we decide to do something about it. To put our effort and focus into changing the facts, however scary, rather than spinning our wheels trying to change our beliefs about the facts.

We stopped The Fit Test because the people showing up at our doors changed. Instead of people showing up who needed to be faced with the reality of their situation, we began getting people who new the reality of their situation. They didn’t come to be beat down, they came for help.

We have been honored to have been a part of well over 1200 people’s fitness journey since opening our doors. Some stay and continue to grow, some take what they’ve learned and continue on their path. Either way we are extremely proud to be part.

If you are at that point and realize you could use a little help to get where you want to be, that’s what we do! Schedule your free No Sweat Intro here and get 15 minutes alone with a trainer who wants to know what your goals are and see if we can help you achieve them.

5 Reasons You Need this Paleo Challenge

Click on the picture for more info about the Challenge!

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  1. Holiday Season

We are not naive. While we would love to believe that every one of our beloved members would place their health and wellness over fudge, pumpkin spice whatevers, and apple pie, we know this simply isn’t the case. Frankly we have seen people put 15-20lbs on over the holiday season.

There are two ways to live your life. Reactive and proactive. As CrossFitter’s, you have already established yourself as being proactive. Many of you did not need a debilitating chronic disease diagnosis before choosing to do something about your health. This is no different.

How much better will you feel going INTO the holiday season having lost 15-20 lbs?

How much less likely are you to give up that progress that to say, “Oh I’ll just fix it with a resolution?”

 

  1. Knowledge

The first part of living a healthier lifestyle is knowing what that means. The information you receive in the challenge will skyrocket your knowledge of what healthful and unhealthful looks, feels, and tastes like. But this is not all. There is action and more action.  Knowledge will give you faith in the nutrition protocol. But faith without works is dead.

 

  1. Accountability

Having a partner gives you that one last consideration before derailing your plan. Many of us attempt to go about making major life changes in secret. Both history and psychology show us the weakness of this method. By simply throwing in a buddy who you will have to “confess” to, your chances of success, if you commit to honesty, SKYROCKET. Try it, you’ll see.

 

  1. Free Scan

Many of you guys are now aware of the powerful snapshot the InBody scan produces of your overall health and fitness situation. All of you on the challenge will receive an after scan that will bolster your confidence in your gym, the CrossFit nutrition protocol, and YOURSELF!

What can’t beat that feeling of inner confidence and pride in yourself?

 

  1. Fun

Sucky fun is sort of the basis of what we do. Turn something that once seemed overwhelmingly difficult into a game and somehow it becomes interesting, maybe even fun. That’s how the Challenge works!

 


 

I had 39 reasons but I figured this was a good start.

The ONLY question you need to ask yourself is, “Would I like to be healthier, fitter, and leaner?”

If you are having trouble with answering that question, just ask me!

 


 

Sign up NOW!

*don’t use this if you signed up at the gym already

The Real Scoop on Injury in CrossFit and What to do About it

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We’ve all heard it.

“You’re going to get hurt doing that CrossFit thing.”

“I knew a guy who knew a guy who went blind from CrossFit.”

The list goes on. In a future post I will explain where all this comes from and give you some truth. In the mean time, I wanted to address the more pressing parts of this topic.

At CrossFit Breaux Bridge + St. Landry, we are in the pursuit of facilitating physiological change in your body. That’s a big part of what getting fit is.

As many of us do not walk into CrossFit for the first time limber, flexible, and ready to hunt a grizzly bear, that sometimes means we need to make A LOT of changes. We do this through a cycle of stimulus and adaptation. The stimulus occurs in the gym, the adaptation (recovery) occurs outside of it.

Change can be uncomfortable. It is highly probably you are going to use muscles you didn’t even know existed, and you are going to try and restore your joints to their original ranges of motion.

This means we will be doing some pulling, pushing, and squeezing on tissues which are not yet accommodated to this. That’s what unfitness is.

At our gyms, safety, efficacy, and sound mechanics are of the utmost priority. You must know, however, that on the path to obtaining these new skills, abilities, and looks, there may be bumps and bruises along the way. This is not water aerobics.

The good news is, the majority of CrossFit injuries are acute (meaning they will go away) and mainly consist of some type of inflammation.

So what should you do if you think you might have an injury?

  1. TELL YOUR TRAINERS – while we are not doctors and are very cautious not to step beyond our realm of knowledge and expertise, the overwhelming majority of sports injuries are well within our expertise. Healing is part of training, and we know a lot about it. All of your trainers have worked through various injuries in their fitness endeavors. We will also let you know if we think it is something you should get checked out.
  2. GO TO THE BOX – we can’t help you if we don’t see you. Not only do we not mind scaling and modifying workouts for you, we enjoy it. It let’s us use our creativity. And we cannot prescribe stretches or drills to help you recover if we don’t see you.
  3. CHECK YOUR NUTRITION – because most injuries are inflammatory in nature, simply eating a non-inflammatory diet can “cure” your injuries almost immediately. That’s right, nutrition isn’t only about being fat or skinny.
  4. CHECK YOUR EGO – injury goes from chronic to acute when you keep doing the thing that caused it over and over. If you want a life of fitness, don’t break yourself trying to push through a movement that is actually going to make it worse.
  5. REST DOES NOT MEAN DO NOTHING – while we definitely want to rest whatever part of you may be experiencing issues, that leaves a lot of parts of you we can focus even more intently on. Many of our athletes and coaches will tell you that some of the biggest leaps in their fitness journeys came through injuries.

These tips are not all-inclusive, but if you find yourself with a nagging injury and you do the above, we can help even further! We know a ton of techniques to get you back up and running as quickly as possible.

If you think you may be experiencing this right now and are unsure what to do, email us at either CrossFit Breaux Bridge or CrossFit St. Landry so we can get you fixed up!