Week 27: CrossFit Journey – Welcomed Rest

2021-03-19T10:40:14-04:00

Week 27 of my journey saw me only hit 2 days at the gym (Monday and Sunday) due to a work event most of the week and wanting to get a round of golf in on Saturday.   But…some of that was intentional and used to give myself a little rest before I go straight for about 2 weeks.

I’m continually coming back to the notion that you must listen to your body and not try to overwork it when you feel a bit off.  I had a sore left should/neck area going into this past week and after the workout Monday I felt that the few days I thought I’d miss might end up being good and not to stress it.

Additionally, I was jacked up to get back there today so it put a little pep in my step as i’d been missing it.

Crushing workouts and feeling fit is always great but it can’t be done if your mind and body are not healthy and recovered.

Sometimes a little rest goes a long way to making your progress even that much more.

Make sure you audit yourself and listen to that internal dialogue.

Keep grinding!

Week 27: CrossFit Journey – Welcomed Rest2021-03-19T10:40:14-04:00

Week 26: CrossFit Journey – Halfway Mark

2021-03-19T10:40:15-04:00

I cannot believe 6 months of CrossFit is already in the books.  Incredible!

Each week has been it’s own special challenge but I wanted to piggy back this weeks post off of one from a few weeks ago and just confirm that proper nutrition, along with proper sleep, are so important to training.  Maybe more important that I’ve ever realized.  Earlier in the summer and, in fact, in workouts well prior too I definitely didn’t put a lot of thought into how much eating the right amount of calories and proportions of Carbs, Protein, and Fat were to reaching my fitness goals.

Long story short, after tracking my calories for 3 weeks and really focusing on hitting 3,000 calories a day I have absolutely been crushing my workouts and having so much energy to stay powered all the way through.  I’m noticing that I am now starting to keep up with some of the CrossFit veterans in our class (although sometimes I’m doing a much different weight) but it’s still in comparison to my strength.

If you’re reading this and confused on why you are sluggish during the day, always hungry and different points, or just feel like you don’t have the energy to workout then it may be time to consult a nutritionist and put some effort into what and when you put stuff into your body.

I can speak from experience of how it was before and now seeing the after and what it can do for you.

Keep listening to your body and doing the right thing!

Week 26: CrossFit Journey – Halfway Mark2021-03-19T10:40:15-04:00

Week 25: CrossFit Journey – Injury and Prevention

2021-03-19T10:40:16-04:00

Had some great workouts this past week but thought I’d take an opportunity just to mention the importance of listening to your body, especially when it comes to injury.  I’m not a doctor but I’ve found that logical diagnosis often times wins the day.

During Tuesdays workout I was pushing hard through this RFT workout of 70 cal row, 50 pushups, and 40 wall balls.  I must have tweaked something with my bicep because on Wednesday it didn’t feel all that great.  I had a little soreness but my arm felt weak.

My self diagnosis was “bicep tendinitis” which I realized last in the week.

So, I decided to workout on Wednesday to “test” it out and it was semi-painful to the extent that I couldn’t put 100% into the workout.

With that, I got smart.  I decided to rest for a couple of days and put minimal movement into the arm.

I decided to test it again on Saturday and everything seemed great until we got into some rope climbs late in the workout which ended up tweaking it slightly.

Had a great chat with one of the coaches there and was encouraged to do some maintenance on the arm (ice, massage, etc) whichever I felt I should do as well as stay away from doing major pulling movements for a week or two or at least to resist doing them.

All in all, I iced my arm through the weekend and feel like it will take some time to fully heal but I’m not focused on not overworking the arm and being smart about my level of effort with it.

Moral of the story: Listen to your body because taking a few days off to recover and heal is much better than tearing something more and having to sit out months.  Egos get in the way a lot so being smart about those type of decisions could lead to better results down the road.

Keep grinding!

Brian

Week 25: CrossFit Journey – Injury and Prevention2021-03-19T10:40:16-04:00

Week 24: CrossFit Journey – Nutrition

2021-03-19T10:40:17-04:00

Had another great week of killer workouts but this week I’m going to focus on nutrition as it has been a big key for me lately.

I’ve been monitoring how I feel in correlation to my eating over the past month or so and realized I’d be spent in regards to energy when I tried to workout in the evening.  What I came to realize was that I wasn’t getting near enough calories a day and lacking very much in my protein intake (which wasn’t helping my muscle gain goal).

I spoke with a nutritionist on Monday and it cleared up many things for me.  It confirmed several of the things I was doing right and highlighted some of my core areas.  I’ve started to track my calories for a period of time to make sure I am hitting some goals.  Right now, I am trying to hit about 3,000 calories per day.  It’s insane how much food that actually is but I know in the long run I’ll put on some weight and start to see my muscles get some growth as well.

Cliffs Notes version of changes:

  1. I was eating a “good” breakfast in regards to nutritious foods like bananas, avocados, oatmeal, etc but was lacking big time in protein intake.  This was putting me behind the eight-ball for the day and I was always hungry midday.

       The Change: I am now eating 2-3 eggs in the morning and having that on top of avocado toast or scrambling up with some sweet potato hash / pepper combo.  It’s kept me full for the last week and I feel I have way more energy.

2. For snack, I was eating mainly fruit and about 1-2 cups of blueberries, strawberries, or a banana.

The Change: I am adding some protein like peanut butter or some yogurt to the snack and still eating the fruit.

3. Since I took away meat from my diet 18 months ago, I’ve been trying to figure out what to replace it with and have come across these plant based items that taste and feel like meat.  I used to eat a lot of this stuff like several servings a weeks.

The Change: I didn’t realize that not only are these heavily processed but they are made mainly of soy.  For males, too high of soy intake adds a lot of estrogen into the body and can mess up hormone levels a bit.  So, I’ve cut back on this drastically to see if I notice any big changes.  I’ve added more fish to my diet to get back to a cleaner protein.

I’ve been very conscious the last several years of my food intake and eating cleaner but didn’t put this level of thought into it.  Just recording my eating habits this week and monitoring how I feel I can say that not only am I full throughout the day but I have a lot more energy when it comes to evening workouts.

Moral of the story is that it’s important to always be asking questions of yourself on how you can improve and get better and don’t be afraid of the answers as hopefully figuring that out will improve “YOU” in the long run.

Keep at it folks!

 

 

Week 24: CrossFit Journey – Nutrition2021-03-19T10:40:17-04:00

Week 23: CrossFit Journey (Test Out Week)

2021-03-19T10:40:18-04:00

Well – the 12 week Strength Training Program came and went and it was an incredible ride of learning, pushing, and grinding until the end.  Here is the final sheet of the breakdown – Strength Training Program Weekly Breakdown

Overall I was pleased with my mindset going into each workout and focus on improving the movements in order to maximize the weight I can safely lift.  Additionally, just pushing myself beyond my comfort zone, which I’ve written about throughout this program, was something I am proud of and can use as I continue on.

One last piece I didn’t think about during test week but was relevant is that I’ve gained 8-10 LBs of body weight over the last few months.  Some of these numbers (like pull-ups) are even better since I am pulling more weight than during the initial test week.

Some results to note:

Back Squat -> 1 Rep Max @ 170 LBs (max 3 @ 145 lbs12 weeks ago I did )

Strict Pull-ups -> 8 Strict Pullups (7 Strict Pullups 12 weeks ago I did )

Bench Press -> 1 Rep Max @ 170 LBs (1 rep max @ 165 lbs12 weeks ago I did )

Deadlift -> 1 Rep Max @ 300 LBs (1 rep max @ 265 lbs 12 weeks ago I did )

Front Squat -> 1 Rep Max @ 155 LBs (12 weeks ago I didn’t get to establish a max)

“Karen” (150 Wall Balls FT) -> 9:20 time with 14 lb wall ball (9:44 time 12 weeks ago)

Mile Run -> 7:22 (In the past I’d have trouble breaking 8 minutes)

Being over 5 months into this CrossFit thing I’m extremely pleased with my results, how I’ve managed my schedule, and understanding my nutrition to keep energized and gain the muscle mass I’ve set out to gain.

Look forward to sharing how the rest of the year goes!

Stay tuned!

Week 23: CrossFit Journey (Test Out Week)2021-03-19T10:40:18-04:00

Week 22: CrossFit Journey (Week 12 of 12 of the Strength Training Program)

2021-03-19T10:40:18-04:00

This was our final week of the 12-Week Strength Training Program and my first week back from a 10-day vacation – See Results here – 12-Week Strength Program Results 

I didn’t take it easy, however, and pushed myself through 6 straight days of workouts to get me back on track.  My body was beat come Sunday but I felt really good and it was a nice “off” day to relax a bit.  Here’s a peak at the workouts I went through this week:

I had a lot of fun this week with some of the workouts and really enjoyed the team workout on the 4th of July called “DT”.  It was pretty brutal and definitely pushed me to the max to finish!

One thing I learned, again, this week is to find the edge of your comfort zone and try to push past it just a little to see what could happen.  On Friday, we had a 10-minute Row for max calories and my goal was to have more than anyone that day in the class.  Sure enough, after pushing through some pain near the end I ended up with 162 and the most for the day.  Those little wins keep you focused on growing and building on each and every day’s workout.

Lastly, I am going to be starting Yoga again this week as I hadn’t done it at all during this Crossfit journey.  I’ve realized I need to get my flexibility back which I know will help me improve my movements. This will be part of my training going forward and look forward to seeing the results as it runs parallel with CrossFit.

Keep grinding everyone!

Week 22: CrossFit Journey (Week 12 of 12 of the Strength Training Program)2021-03-19T10:40:18-04:00

Week 21: CrossFit Journey (Week 11 of 12 of the Strength Training Program)

2021-03-19T10:40:19-04:00

Well, after 20 weeks of CrossFit I finally took a long break and relaxed for the past 9 days.  Besides a ton of walking (which just offset my poor eating and many LBS of Ice Cream), I really only worked out one time during the vacation.  On past vacations I made it a point to work out more but I’ve changed my thinking a lot on this..here’s why.

I believe it’s good to take a break from your routine and just relax your mind and body and let it rest.  You can continue to push yourself day after day but part of improving is listening to your body and understanding what it needs.  For me, it’s taking time off and “missing it” that gets me recharged and amped up to go hard at it again next week.  It also gives you a perspective to see how you feel when you aren’t working out or eating how you’d normally eat and it can help reenforce that what you are doing is correct and help keep you focused on your goals.

Bottomline, whether you take a bunch of days off in a row or not, I believe it is crucial to rest at certain points during your training in order to let your body and also your mind recover and reset for the next wave of training.

Fortunately, this upcoming week is our last in the program and is a Deload week so it will help me ease back into my training.

Can’t believe 21 weeks are already in the books in my CrossFit journey.  Excited to see what the next 21 hold!

Keep grinding!

Week 21: CrossFit Journey (Week 11 of 12 of the Strength Training Program)2021-03-19T10:40:19-04:00

Week 20: CrossFit Journey (Week 10 of 12 of the Strength Training Program)

2021-03-19T10:40:20-04:00

Heading into the final stretch of our strength training program and had a short week this week due to a family vacation.

Two big “Aha” moments of the week:

  1. I noticed that my food intake wasn’t the best and I was lacking energy on some of the days.  This has also been a trend the past week or two especially if I am working out after work.  Teh combination of not enough calories along with using my standing desk is making me a bit more fatigued.  The key here is I have recognized this pattern early and will take measures to correct it in the coming weeks.
  2. My strength gains have been solid over these past 10 weeks and nothing shines a light on that more than the fact that I did 13 max rep set @ 245lbs on the DeadLift this week compared to 1 total rep @ 265 just 10 weeks ago.  Insane!

Next week is an off-week due to a vacation and will be a nice chance to recharge the batteries after 20 weeks of CrossFit!

Week 20: CrossFit Journey (Week 10 of 12 of the Strength Training Program)2021-03-19T10:40:20-04:00

Week 19: CrossFit Journey (Week 9 of 12 of the Strength Training Program)

2021-03-19T10:40:20-04:00

Well we are in the home stretch of our 12-week strength training program and maybe it was the light week that helped from last week or taking a little Shakeology Power Boost prior to some of the workouts but I definitely got back on track with some solid numbers this week.

Here is my updated Strength Program Worksheet Link

This week’s highlights (max rep #):

Back Squats – 11 @ 130

Bench Press – 8 @ 135

Deadlift – 15 @ 220

Also had a couple fierce endurance workouts that I absolutely crushed.  Starting to really understand my limits and where I can take chances to push through in a workout.  I know one of my strengths in Rowing so I can use that to my advantage and pick up the pace there while staying consistent on the rest of the workout.

CrossFit isn’t only about putting up big weights but learning the proper techniques.  On Saturday, I was learning how to perfect the muscle snatch which I’ve rarely done before.  I took a light barbell and worked through it for that particular OTM cadence.  Definitely recommend anyone starting out to take this approach and ease their way into certain movements, especially a more advanced one like the muscle snatch.

Can’t believe next week will be an even 20 weeks of CrossFit.  So amazed with the results and how my body has transformed over these past 4 months and excited for the next 20 weeks!

Keep grindin’!

Week 19: CrossFit Journey (Week 9 of 12 of the Strength Training Program)2021-03-19T10:40:20-04:00

Week 18: CrossFit Journey (Week 8 of 12 of the Strength Training Program)

2021-03-19T10:40:21-04:00

A much needed “Deload” week during this 12-week strength program but unfortunately when we deload we throw in a ton of endurance so I saw my fair share of rowing and biking!

One of the things I worked on this week was really focusing on less weight and practicing my squat which has been shaky as of late.  I took a step back and realized that I needed to make sure my form was solid before progressing in weight.  The help I had in the prior week with how I thought about the squat position and then some additional insight this week by the owner of CrossFit RTP, Lei, got me feeling really confident about the movement.

18 weeks into this whole CrossFit thing and one of the things I look forward to is getting absolutely roasted during a workout where I feel I’ve pushed myself to the limit but kept going just a bit extra.  Unlike the old days when it was all about throwing around heavy weight, I’ve learned that lighter weights with deeper movement and staying active for a length of time can do way more in regards to building strength and muscle then doing the traditional 5 sets of 6-10 reps with some progressing weight.

Tip to those out there trying to get fit – Weight is great!  You aren’t going to get too bulky but you also don’t have to always do your max.  Lighter weight with more reps will still help you build strength and you’ll also trim the your body fat % too!

…One more thing…If you haven’t tried a team event or team workout I absolutely recommend it.  On saturdays, we normally partner up in groups to do the workout and it is an opportunity to meet and work with people of different skill level and strengths.  Additionally, you get a chance to cheer on your team so you can have the fastest time and they can also motivate you.  It’s a win-win and makes the workout that much more fine.  I’d encourage you to try it!

Until next time!

Brian

Week 18: CrossFit Journey (Week 8 of 12 of the Strength Training Program)2021-03-19T10:40:21-04:00
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