Regionals athlete preparation

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Today is our first ever CrossFit Austin podcast! In today’s episode Coach Wes and Coach Aaron talk about preparing individual athlete’s for the Regionals competition. Coach Aaron goes in-depth into the preparation of Mahdi Te Heuheu for the Australian Regional, and our very own Judy McElroy’s prep for the South Central Regional. Here is a link to an article Coach Aaron wrote about Mahdi’s training leading up to regionals: Evolution of Mahdi Ti Heuheu 

Aaron Davis

Regionals May 24-26

The regionals season opened up this past weekend in the North East, South East, Europe, and SoCal regions. Athletes from CrossFIt Austin will be competing in the South Central Regional this weekend Friday May 24th through Sunday May 26th. The competition will be held in San Antonio at the Freeman Coliseum and we have individuals and a team competing for a chance to go to the CrossFit Games in July.  Below is the official guide for folks that want to support CFA this weekend.

Who’s Competing?
Women’s Individual Competitors

Judy McElroy

Team CrossFit Austin 1
Males: Miguel Garza, Alex Tanton, Aaron Duran
Females: Leigh Legare, Stacey Magnesio, Alex Janns
Alternates: Gilbert Perales, and Dayna Lowke

Schedule of Events
The full schedule of the weekend’s events can be seen HERE these times are of course subject to change.

Friday May 24th 
Event 1 “Jackie”
Team CFA @ 9:20 AM
Judy @ 11 AM

Event 2 & 3 “OHS & Burpee Muscle-up”
Team CFA @ 1:25 PM
Judy @ 3:30 PM

Saturday’s events start @ 8:30 AM and 3 PM exact start times are dependent upon where our athlete’s place. So we will update this page as well as Facebook and Twitter with the specific times as we find them out.

Travel and Parking

Just like last year regionals will be held just down the road in San Antonio. We have a Facebook group created to help coordinate carpooling on Friday, and Saturday  please comment below if you have not been added to the group and you are planning to come watch.

Parking is $5/day. There is no in and out, and its limited.

This year roughly twice as many spectator tickets have been sold so please account for the fact that there will be a lot of people trying to get in and park at the same time and this may create some significant delays.

What if I can’t make it?

For up to minute updates on Judy and Team CFA…

Like us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/CrossFitAustin

Follow us on Twitter in the following place
@crossfitaustin
@coachwesk (Coach Wes)
@davisxctf (Coach Aaron)
@SharonBlecker (Coach Sharon)

For general updates on our Regional, and other Regionals

Like:
https://www.facebook.com/CFGSouthCentral

Follow:
@CrossFitGames
@CFGSouthCentral

if you’re not on twitter sign up its 2013 folks 🙂 This is where you will find the quickest updates.

For all other info make sure and read through our regions info page

http://games.crossfit.com/region/south-central/schedule


Looking forward to a great weekend for all of our athletes and wonderful community!

Nutrition Q&A – Intermittent Fasting


“Since you mentioned intermittent fasting, can you provide your thoughts on when and for whom this could be a good approach to healthy eating frequency. Specifically, what are the benefits of this approach compared to a Paleo lifestyle with 3 meals plus snacks? And could this be a quality option for someone looking to get stronger/leaner/healthier but not necessarily aspiring to the highest competitive levels? Thanks!”

I’ve done a good amount of intermittent fasting with mixed results. Based solely on my personal experience I think it ultimately hinges on the stress factor, and the type of training you are focusing on.  When I am getting good sleep, my work schedule is consistent, and I’m focusing on a structured strength training program I’ve seen very good results with IF. In 2010 prepping for The Arnolds Weightlifting meet I used IF and was able to get down to 115 kilos which is about 4 kilos off my leanest weigh in of all time.

On the flip side If I’m teaching early AM class, staying late to prep the team for regionals, traveling, and doing allot of high intensity conditioning IF tends to be one more hot coal in my stress fire and takes aways more than it adds. Everything seems to suffer in this situation.

So my ideal person to implement IF would be a person that has low lifestyle stress (or manages stress well), has good sleep habits, and primarily focuses on structured strength and weightlifting for their training.  If you look into the work Martin Berkhan has done you’ll see that the success folks have on his programs tend to fit this avatar.

http://www.leangains.com/2010/04/leangains-guide.html

Hope that Helps!

Coach Wes

 

Nutritional Primer

My goal for today is to start the nutrition conversation, and hopefully create some awareness and independent thought around what is best for you when it comes to food.

First off lets set some guidelines. Nutritional research is dynamic and constantly evolving. There is no single black and white definitive answer, and there is no one size fits all approach. As with most aspects of fitness we can only set out principles and guidelines. From there you must fill in the blanks with specific details that fit you.

Emotions

We all have our biases around food. They may come from years of media and marketing telling us fat is bad, or from past success with a particular nutritional approach (i.e. paleo, weight watchers, IF, etc…). The key is, we have to acknowledge our biases and emotions around food. Then we can take a step back and make more objective nutritional decisions. If you can’t take this first step you will always be at the mercy of forces outside of your control.

What is the goal?

The demands of a full time athlete preparing for a competition and someone trying to fuel a productive 9-5 workday will vary. Once again acknowledging that there will be variations in the approach (based on the goals) will be a key factor in achieving those goals.

Quality

Quality always matters. A shirt made with quality material and craftsmanship is always going to feel, fit, and look better than a shirt that is haphazardly made with crappy material. However quality always require an investment. That investment may be time or dollars. The question then becomes how much are you willing to invest and what is the ROI on that investment. We will delve deeper into this in future articles but something to be aware in regards to nutrition.

Some beginner quick hitters

Protein should be included in every meal.

Hydration is key, be diligent about drinking plenty of water.

Athletic performance, body composition, and health are all affected by not only nutrition, but stress, sleep, and training as well.

Three square meals and two snacks are good starting points for healthy eating frequency. Try to master this schedule for a period of time before moving on to things like intermittent fasting.

Understand your food sensitivities. Joint pain, GI issues, and skin issues are all common side effects of food sensitivities. Experimenting with eliminating foods that cause these issues, or are known to cause these issues (examples grains, dairy) is a good starting point for improving your nutritional approach.

To wrap things up today I challenge you guys to send in some specific question so I can do a follow up article that addresses specific scenarios. As always continue to educate yourself and build a base of knowledge so you can make good decisions when it comes to nutrition.

Coach Wes

I HATE CALCULATORS

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”– Ernest Hemingway

Ok, here it is: I Hate Calculators In the Gym!  Why? Because they hold you back!

Your 70% last week doesn’t mean it’s your 70% this week.  You are getting stronger each day.  No need to base today’s training off of yesterday’s you.  You are reborn anew today, built stronger than the day before.  So, drop the calculator and pick up an extra 2 1/2 lbs plate.

I have done my part; for the next 8 weeks I have taken out almost all percentages in the programming.

I can hear you all already, “But, how heavy are we suppose to lift?”  Heavy.  It’s that simple.

“Heavy” can’t be measured.  Effort can!

Lose the fear that heavy lifting will hurt you. Just like unicorns, it’s a myth!

A research study done over 4 years on NCAA Football players showed 0.35 weight room injuries to every 100 players (http://www.exra.org/WtRm.htm).  Now, compare that to the findings of this study showing 55 injuries to 39 runners (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3578639)!

Remove fear, and the constraints of calculators.  Just LIFT!

 -Aaron Davis

*Post thoughts to comments!

Be a Technician

By: Wes Kimball

When I played football, my coach Stan Eggen’s favorite saying was, “Be a Technician.”  Every day in practice, we drilled throwing our hands, firing off the ball low and aggressive, and practiced pass rush drills.  In fact, I can remember our entire sequence of pass rush drills even though I haven’t “rushed a passer” in over 5 years. Why did he make us do this?  Why didn’t we just bust heads and grind it out every day in practice?  Simply because he understood that the fundamentals are incredibly important, and for us to continue to get better, we had to be exceptional at the little things.  If he could turn us into a D-line full of “technicians,” we could overcome any “talent” deficiency that we had as a unit.  What were his results?  At this point in his career, Coach Eggen has coached more than a dozen defensive lineman who were selected in the NFL draft and over 20 who signed NFL contracts.

So, how can we apply this concept to training for the sport of fitness?  The answer is quite simple:  dedicate time and resources to moving more efficiently.  We all have a ceiling when it comes to raw physical tools, and you basically have to play with the hand that you were dealt.  However, we can always improve the way we use those tools. Fundamental things like building a great strict pull-up before you kip your arms off, or developing a sound front squat, deadlift, and clean before you do 30 TnG cleans, allows you to develop as a fitness athlete on a constant trajectory.  Training is like building a house (not buying a house), and often times, folks want to skip right ahead to the fancy stuff before they take care of the little things that ensure their progression.  The great ones are always the ones that not only nurture and develop their physical tools, but are also a master of their craft.  Here is one simple way to be a better technician.

Look for regression over progression!

When you are stuck on a skill or movement, think about ways to regress or make it simpler, as opposed to making it more complicated or advanced.  For example:  In CrossFit, the muscle up is an advanced movement.  Instead of flaying around endlessly on the rings, try to improve these 5 things (all of which you practiced with Miguel this weekend :))

1. Shoulder Mobility
2. Pushing Strength (ie. being capable of 3 ring dips)
3. Pulling Strength (ie. 3 strict pull-ups)
4. Coordination through the transition (banded MU transitions, kip swings, CTB Pull-ups)
5. Core control (Hard Planks, and Hollow Holds)

Regressing and improving these components needed for a muscle-up will undoubtedly push you closer to getting a muscle-up than just aimlessly trying to do one.

This goes for any movement.  If you are struggling with, or have plateaued in something specific, chances are that there is a certain aspect of that skill or movement that is holding you back.  Creating awareness around where the deficiency lies, regressing, and then attacking it head on, will no doubt get you back on the track for success.

*Post thoughts to comments!

Zone 1

What does Zone 1 mean?
Wes Kimball

Today we take a departure from the normal grind of heavy sweating and panting to partake in some nice leisurely activity. Today’s training session is what we like to call is Zone 1 (Z1) work. We were first turned on to the concept and its benefits by James Fitzgerald of Optimum Performance Training, but it is perhaps the worlds oldest form of “exercise”. So, what exactly is this Zone 1 we speak of?

First off, the super technical definition is as follows: Zone 1 work is “low level aerobic activity that involves working at 55 to 75% of your maximum heart rate”.

Now, let’s keep things simple and more specific to what we want to accomplish with this definition of Zone 1:“Physical activity that is restorative to the mind, body, and spirit while adding little to no physical stress”.

We live in a work hard, play hard culture. Even in the context of fitness we tend to live in extremes by coming in for :60 – :90 intense exercise sessions followed by hours on end of sitting in front of computer and tv screens. Z1 work adds balance to our training and pushes us into the habit of an active “lifestyle”, not just extreme :60 exercisers. So, here is what you need to know about Z1.

1.) What activities are Z1? Activities that are not stressful. Much of the knock of long slow distance (LSD) training is rooted in running. Due to the stress running, and even jogging, puts on the joints, running does not qualify as a good Z1 activity. However, a great alternative would be a hike, providing a low level of impact, and if elevation is involved, there is a greater range of motion, and far better scenery than running around the CFA building can provide, unfortunately. Some of my other personal favorites are: Leisurely bike rides, easy swims, shooting hoops, or just good ole fashioned yard work.

2.) How long do I do it for? Well, this will depend with most on where a person stands in their personal fitness journey. For example, a severely deconditioned person may walk for 20 minutes and have all the after effects that a well-conditioned person would feel after a very intense training session. In general, for folks that are training hard 3x-4x a week, 60 to 90 minutes of Z1 work twice a week will be beneficial.

3.) But this is boring, can I make it more intense? No. The whole point of Z1 work is to facilitate restoration (remember mind, body and spirit). So, opting for more “intense” (read: stressful) training on off days defeats the whole purpose. Z1 work can be perceived as boring especially if it is always done alone. I personally prefer Z1 work with a partner (wife, friend, or family member), it is a great “healthy” social activity, and also a great introduction to exercise for folks in your life that are intimidated to start improving their fitness level.

There is a whole spectrum of things that we could consider Z1 training with a myriad of benefits, so hit me up with questions in the comments!

“People only do their best at things they truly enjoy.” -Jack Nicklaus

Andrew