Category Archives: CrossFit

New Crossfit Huntsville Website

Check out the new Crossfit Huntsville website.  Clint, Daniel, and Russell did a great job with the redesign.  I personally like the Recent Posts along the bottom.  Each post is the workout of the day (WOD).  This new website allows everyone to post their scores for the day and talk a little trash (and encourage) everyone else.  Also, check out the videos.  Russell is pretty creative.  I’m the one that quits on the rope climb in the middle of the video (That was rep #5). 

On a personal note, I had a personal record on Fight Gone Bad today (Read the Recent Post with Russell lifting a barbell and my brother floating in the air like he’s sitting in a chair).  I did 294 reps, which is about 45 more than  the last time I did it.  CrossFit and the Zone diet has made a tremendous impact on my fitness.

I really enjoy my Crossfit community.  It is a great example of a Tribe (I highly recommend Seth Godin’s book at the link) – as you can tell from the banter on the site.  Find a Crossfit Box near you and give it a shot.



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Here is what’s going on at Crossfit Huntsville. 

I’m just glad I worked hard enough to make the video. 

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Lights Out

The book Lights Out – Sleep, Sugar, and Survival was recommended to everyone in the Huntsville Crossfit tribe by our trainer.  He has given us a few lectures on proper diet before, and I always just half listened.  You see, I’m one of those guys that exercise so that I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want.  It has worked out for me so far, but this book has me rethinking everything I thought I knew about eating.  It exposed my fundamental misunderstanding of how the body ingest food and converts it to energy and stored energy. 

The book, published in 2000, is co-authored by two researchers, T.S. Wiley and Bent Formby, from the Medical Research Institute in Santa Barbara, CA.  T.S. Wiley is an anthropologist and medical theorist with a background in investigative journalism, and Bent Formby holds a doctorate in biochemistry, biophysics, and molecular biology.  The background of the two authors combines for an easy to read book presenting an interesting hypothesis of how Americans are adversely affected by one of the most important technological advances in the last century and widely held pseudo-scientific claims about our diet and health.

According to the book, the electrification of the United States with the widespread use of the light bulb is having a tremendous effect on our bodies.  The extended daylight afforded by the light bulb allowed Americans to become the brightest and best as well as the sickest people in the world.  For being one of the most medically advanced countries in the world, we are by far some of the most obese people dying from diseases related to obesity such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  The effect of the light bulb coupled with the ingrained belief that a healthy diet is a fat-free diet is literally destroying our bodies.

How do these two play together (in layman’s terms from my single read of the book)?  We have photo-receptors in our body that trigger certain bodily functions based on the amount of lights we receive each day.  Long before urban living, humans ate what was in season.  During the late summer months, when most of the plants were bearing fruit, we ate carb heavy diets.  Due to the length of sunlight during the day, our bodies knew that winter was coming, so we crave carbs like mad.  Carbs convert into blood sugar to provide energy to the all the cells in our bodies.  Once the cell get enough energy, their insulin receptors shut down and the liver sends the message out to store all the remaining energy in your body as fat (since winter is coming).  Now think about the light bulb.  We now have control over our night and day.  We don’t go to sleep with the setting sun, we go to sleep 5 hours later and only let our bodies get 7 hours of sleep.  Due to our light exposure, our bodies think we are living in a perpetual August! Therefore, we crave carbs like an addict craves a hit.  And this is where the fat-free lie kicks in.  Since we have been lead to believe that fat in our diets is unhealthy, we buy fat-free foods.  Fat-free foods are extremely carb heavy, and most of them are processed carbs that absorb into the blood stream fast (insulin spikes, cell are full of energy, energy dumped to fat).  Have you ever wondered why everything in your kitchen is fat-free except you?

The obesity rates in this country are rising fast.  Checkout the U.S. Obesity Trend Maps on the CDC website from 1985-2007.  This is scary.  There is something fundamentally wrong with the way we are living.  The book suggests it’s the exposure to light during the night that makes us think we are living a few months away from hibernation – craving cabs.  The majority of the stuff in the grocery store is carbs (sugar is one of the main preservatives in foods giving them a long shelf life).  Carbs are killing us!

The ideas in the books are so simple that it is almost unbelievable that the medical community as a whole hasn’t supported it.  The book starts to go a little X-files-conspiracy-theory on us suggesting that the CDC is too coupled with the government that is heavily influenced by PACS supported by the grain industry.  It also says that Doctors in this country are trained to fight illness and are not trained at all at homoestasis, health, or prevention.  I don’t know if I agree with all of that, but I do know that the health of this country is deteriorating quickly.  Eating what we were programmed to eat for millions of years makes a lot of sense to me. 

You will find me shopping on the outer perimeter of the grocery store from now on.  It’s been nice knowing you, Oreo.  I’m going to miss you (A LOT!)

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What is that?  Well, I can tell you.  It is the intense muscle pain you feel in your abs two days after your workout that makes you walk around like Quasimodo all day.  Here is the workout I did on Saturday (Crossfit WOD for 1/16/2009)

For time:
10 GHD Sit-ups
10 Hip & Back Extensions
95 pound Thrusters, 30 reps
50 Pull-ups

30 GHD Sit-ups
30 Hip & Back Extensions
95 pound Thrusters, 20 reps
35 Pull-ups

50 GHD Sit-ups
50 Hip & Back Extensions
95 pound Thrusters, 10 reps
20 Pull-ups

On the surface it looked bad, but not too bad.  105 pull-ups in a workout is not too bad for me.  60 thrusters with 95# is pretty challenging but doable, and I will admit that I have not consistently done enough GHD sit ups to know that 90 is A LOT.  Add to it 90 hip and back extensions, and I had the recipe to Rhabdo (read the comments section).  

What was interesting about this circuit is that the GHDs and H&B extensions fatigue your core.  When you core is fatigued, it is difficult to kip in the pullup and the thrusters just hurt.  It took me 39:57 to finish the workout.  In the middle section I had to take a 3 minute rest before beginning the thrusters.  I just couldn’t make my body start.  I ended and lay on the floor for about 10 minutes before I was able to peel myself off and get some water. 

I should have been a little less ambitious with Saturday’s workout.  I have been traveling for the past two weeks and didn’t get as many workouts in as normal.  Also, soon after I started the workout I had really bad cotton-mouth – dehydration.  (Nota Bene: I recommend all other Huntsville Crossfitters read up on Rhadbo – just Google it to get a lot of additional info).  Now, I don’t have a severe case.  I didn’t pass out and I’m not peeing iced tea colored (sorry for the graphic detail), but my core is very sore.  It’s like the first dumbbell curl workout I did in middle school when I did way too many with way too heavy a weight and ended up with my arms locked in a 90 degree angle for the next two days (you know, when you have to squirt shampoo in your hands with your teeth and then move your head back and forth in your hands because you can’t move your arms). 

Time to put the ego in check and listen to my body.  Needless to say, I won’t be doing “Black Lung” tomorrow with the rest of the class.

Workout: “The black lung”

500m Row
25x FSPP @ 75 lbs
25x Pull-ups
25x Push-ups
25x Box Jumps
25x KTE
25x KB swing @ 53 lbs
25x Deadlift @ bodyweight
500m Row
Scoring: Subtract 30 seconds from final time for ever second under 1:40 the first 500m row is completed in. The Row must be under 1:50 or add an immediate penalty row. If the last row is faster or equal to the first, it is subtracted completely from the total time. The only substitution allowed is jumping pull-ups, each of wich is a 12 second addition to total time (if you do all 25 pull-ups as jumping, you have added 5 minutes to your time). Women’s weights are a 45 lb FSPP and a 36 lb KB swing, and penalty/rewarded row times are greater than 2:00 and faster than 1:50.

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