It’s Been A While!

Lots has been in the works lately! Like I had imagined before, sooner or later, I was bound to start slacking on this blog thing. Anyways, training is still going great. 4-6 times a week depending on my recovery and how I’m feeling. It’s currently the holy month of Ramadan so I have been fasting for approximately 14-15 hours a day. Since I train at 8 pm (break fast at 6:30ish pm), I only have an hour and 30 minutes window to digest the food. So I really have to control what I eat. Dates are very popular during the month of Ramadan, so I usually down somewhere between 10-15 date with A LOT of water just so I can replenish my energy levels (insulin, water, etc..) along with some soup, salad, and a lean protein cut. A small portion that’s just enough to keep me going for the next few hours and then after my workout, I have a decent sized portion of you name it. Gotta get my gains in during this month!

VERY BIG NEWS! Two weeks ago I decided to take on the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Seminar/Course and I just got the results back today. Absolutely pleased and proud of myself. When I talked myself into it, it was a 100% personal. I wanted this for me. To prove to myself that I can do it if I put my mind and heart into it. Today, I’m a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. I will definitely use the knowledge that I have gained and gathered over the last few months and from the great coaches around me to benefit myself and those around me in the best way possible. Avoiding the novice’s curse (skipping the basics and jumping right into the challenging bits) is a daily challenge for me and if I ever get to coach, I will make sure I emphasise the basics and build my athletes on from there. I’m absolutely in love with this great CrossFit community. Everyone around me has been so supportive and encouraging.

Killer Friday WOD

It’s Friday, meaning we have to end the week with one insanely crazy workout. CrossFit Oryx had just the exact workout prepared. Today’s WOD was a partner workout; we share the reps shown. Unfortunately, my partner got a bad injury as soon as we started the Burpee Squat Cleans. I wanted to stop and make sure she was okay, but the coach insisted I continue the workout with half the reps (50). I managed to finish the remainder of the workout in 44:22. I’m so glad it’s over and I get to recover for the rest of the weekend!

PARTNER WOD:

100 Pull-Ups

100 Box Jumps (24’/20)

100 Walking Lunges

100 Kettlebell Swings

100 Burpee Squat Clean (95/65)

100 Pinch Grip Walk (15/10)

100 Thrusters

 

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As you can see, we are still smiling! Stay strong and have a great weekend 🙂

Today’s Challenge!

WOD

for time:

1000 meter Row

20 Overhead Walking Lunges (45lb Male/25lb Female)

30 Burpees

20 Overhead Walking Lunges (45lb Male/25lb Female))

1000 meter Row

Complete this workout as fast as you can and record your time once you’re done.

No one said this journey was going to be easy. Challenge yourself and keep pushing onwards and forward with whatever you are doing. I don’t need to remind you that real results happen outside of your comfort zone, so it’s always great to dig deeper in your workouts from time to time.

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We are all in this for a certain reason. To lose weight, bulk up, look good, stay healthy, and for some dreamers/achievers going pro!

Today, I’m exceptionally proud of my results so far. I’ve been CrossFit training for the past 8 weeks (2 months), and I would like to share my results. The following pictures will hopefully show you a little bit of a difference (perhaps a mini-transformation?) in my upper body and core. You get out what you put in.

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On Nutrition & Dieting

Have you ever had one of those days were you keep finding yourself wandering aimlessly in the kitchen and munching on anything and everything? If yes, then I have officially found another abnormal beast just like me!

So I have been feeling like that for the past two weeks, especially when I get to my day off from CrossFit. Now don’t get me wrong. I try to cook most of my meals at home. And when I’m not cooking, I’m usually popping my head into the kitchen every 10 minutes asking my mom not to add any butter/cream/condensed milk to the food. So I’m definitely trying my best to keep my food very plain and SIMPLE. That’s the most important factor about eating clean. Simple, nutritious foods and grains to fuel and energize your body. It is very important to get your body used to the type of food you ingest everday. This step requires your commitment and consistency.

Let’s assume that you are working out at 4 PM (who does that? I do.), you will get your body used to having a small meal at no later than 2 PM. Now this meal must be a small portion of a lean protein meat and simple carbohydrates because you want to make sure you are able to fully digest it before your workout starts. After completing your workout, you may have your protein shake and then a nice post-workout meal which includes a decent portion of lean protein, healthy fats, and some vegetables. Now I’m not being entirely clear about what you should be eating and I don’t want you to keep wondering.

So after a little research, I hope that you are able to incorporate and introduce these foods into your daily intake. 

Lean Protein Source (30% of caloric load):

> Chicken Breast (4 oz.) – 27 grams

> Mahi-Mahi (3 oz.) – 16 g

> 99% Lean Ground Turkey(3 oz.) – 21 g

> Eye of Round Steak – 20 g

> Scallops (3.5 oz.) – 15 g

> Shrimp (4 oz.) – 18 g

> Tilapia (5 oz.) – 22.2g

> Turkey Breast – 26g

> Tuna Fish – 20g

 

Fats/Lipids Source (30% of caloric load):

> Virgin Coconut Oil

> Grass-fed butter

> Clarified butter/ghee

> Extra virgin olive oil

> Avocado Oil

 

NOTE: You want to avoid fats that have a high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids and high processed industrial oils. Examples include Canola, Cottonseed, soybean, grapeseed, corn, vegetable, sunflower, margarine, and buttery spreads.

 

Notice the following comparison:

Coconut oil = 92% saturated, 6% MUFA, 2% PUFA [GOOD]

Sunflower oil = 6% saturated, 19% MUFA, 63% PUFA [Not so much]

Notice how sunflower oil is mostly composed of unsaturated fatty acids? That poses a problem.

 

Carbohydrates (40% of caloric load):

> Beans (White, black, pink, kidney, lentil, soy, almond, peanut, walnut, chickpea)

> Small Seeds (sunflower, flax, pumpkin, poppy, sesame)

> Whole intact grains (wheat, oat, rye, rice, barley)

> Pita Bread, basmati rice, unpeeled boiled potato

> Sweet Potato

> Banana

 

Most of the above mentioned carbs are rated low to medium on the Glycemic index of foods. This is important because a low-GI (glycemic index) food will release glucose more slowly and steadily, which is what you want to be ingesting for most of your meals except for the post-workout meal. That’s the only time you may indulge in a high-GI food to rapidly raise your blood glucose levels for energy recovery purposes after exercise. High GI foods include white rice, pasta, breakfast cereals, pretzels, and bagels.

 

I tried to simplify things as much as possible and give you the gist of my research. Carbohydrates are very essential for your body as you can see and it is impossible to sustain a no-carb diet. However, the time of day at which you consume these carbohydrates is even more crucial. I personally prefer to have the bulk of my carbohydrates in the morning for breakfast and before my workout for sufficient fuel. From the time I’m done with my workout until bedtime, ideally, I would have a lean protein cut of my choice with some greens. I would snack on unsalted peanuts, cashews, and walnuts. Also I have to have my daily spoonful of Peanut Butter. I’m saying I would really like it if I’m able to eat like this all the time and be able to vary my choices within the above mentioned categories. I get the usual cravings just like everyone else. When I do, I try my best to shut my stomach up with a date or a glassful of water. If that craving is occupying my mind and all I’m thinking about, then you just gotta have it!

 

If you have any questions or would like to give feedback on this reading please let me know 🙂

 

Sources:

http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/the-top-10-meat-proteins/slide/9

Healthy Fats vs. Unhealthy Fats: How to Tell the Difference

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_index

Sgt. Lance Davison Memorial WOD – ‘Davison’

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Thank god it’s over! This was one heck of a workout to end a great week at CFO. I finished this workout in 24:37

Here are my numbers:

Squat Clean – 135 lbs.

Back Squats – 115 lbs. 

I’m still leaking a great deal of power on my pull-ups.

Note to self: work harder next week on pull up/kipping technique. 

 

Cindy

WOD (Workout of the Day) was Cindy:

20 Mins AMRAP (As many rounds as possible) of the following:

5 Pull-Ups

10 Push-Ups

15 Squats

 

I managed to get 13 rounds in. Since this is a benchmark WOD, I will definitely be redoing it sometime in the near future to see how I progress.

Before the workout, I managed to Clean & Jerk 3 reps at 135 lbs. I’m proud of my results for today and looking forward to tomorrow’s morning workout to kickstart my weekend.

I’ll leave you with some pictures from today’s WOD. Let me know how many rounds you manage to get in for Cindy!

 

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Active Recovery

Recovery is vital to maintaining athletic development and consistency. I’m curious to find out what you do on recovery days? Recovery after all doesn’t have to be sitting at home all day on the couch. Think outside the box [gym]. What can you do today that may help you feel better after exercising compared to how you felt before?  The options are limitless, here are a few options for your next recovery days:

> Walk/Jog in the park [Low to medium intensity]

> Bike around your neighborhood [Low to medium intensity]

> Go on a hike with a friend [Low intensity]

> Enjoy a nice relaxing day at the beach [Low intensity]

> Yoga/Pilates [Low intensity]

> Swim laps at your pool [Low to medium intensity]

 

All the above suggested activities would help you recover from the physical and mental stress that you undergo throughout your week. Take that hour or couple of hours to do something different with your day. Active recovery can really help boost your mood, unwind, and reset your focus on your personal goals. You will have to trust me on this one, active recovery can be much more beneficial than passive recovery (complete rest). If you recently started exercising and you wish to give this a try, I would personally recommend that you try out the low intensity suggestions above before you move on to the ones that are medium intensity in nature. Pace yourself at everything you do and try to make a positive experience out of your active recovery days.

 

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My Story

I don’t know how much I’m willing to commit to this blog as of yet, but I sure as hell love the idea. I said to myself “let me start a fitness blog and just start talking about my experience so far”. Better yet, however, I said “let me start a CrossFit blog”. First, I’ll start with my story leading on to my recent rediscovery of myself through the sport of fitness – CrossFit.

Let’s get to the story.

Bad genes, horrible metabolism, and a few inches shorter than I would have liked to be. Growing up I was not introduced to healthy options and never been told to stay away from junk. I definitely indulged and overindulged in food that tasted good to me as a kid. It took me some time to finally realize that I needed to start turning my life around. I tried all sorts of diets (form fruit & vegs only to good old day-long starvation), nothing worked for more than short-term. I played all sorts of sports while growing up and although I never exceeded the performance of an average player at these sports, I managed to join the JV (Junior Varsity) and Varsity squads at my school.

 

The real change didn’t set in until I moved away to college. On my second semester at university, I was introduced to the “Gym” and the weightlifting room. I guess that’s around the usual time guys start working out. I have to say I loved it. I definitely started off very slow. 30 Minutes on the treadmill followed by 30 minutes cycling, and only then I can move on to basic weightlifting and such. I did that for my first couple of months. It took me a couple of weeks to see progress. I was beyond impressed and proud. I was hungry for a lot more, so I stayed driven and focused at my goal. Little by little, working out became an essential part of my everyday routine. It kept me sane, organized, and psychologically satisfied.

 

The internet and trial-and-error were my only way to learn, train, and progress. Whatever I did not know, I referred to the internet for extra knowledge and perspective. After a lot of researching and reading, I understood that without proper nutrition, I will not be able to reach my short to long-term goals. I had to tweak my eating habits. I introduced new foods to my diet and decided to rid myself of anything that was on the flipside of nutritious. I CANNOT stress this enough – proper nutrition is essential to every athlete’s development regardless of their goals. It is up to you to make these right choices, no one else will make them for you. In my future posts, I will specifically discuss CrossFit’s dietary prescription in detail.

 

For the past three years, I have been constantly reviewing different workout schemes and programs, attempting to vary my training cycle as much as possible given where I am and whether or not I had access to a gym. I tried the infamous BeachBody P90X and Insanity workouts. Also, I took a break from bars/dumbbells to try multiple bodyweight workouts and circuit training. Although I was a workout junkie, I hate to be finally admitting it but doing all this on my own all the time eventually got very boring. That is probably the reason why I frequently changed my workout plan.

 

Finally, I found myself heading back home overseas to live with my parents for a little while (4 months) before leaving back to begin my post-graduate studies. While contemplating whether I wanted to go back to the old gym I used to train at, I decided to look at new gyms that had to a offer a little more than the usual machines and bars. I wanted somewhat of an interesting element like Muay Thai or Kickboxing. However, I found the next best thing. I was over the moon! I’ve been wanting to give CrossFit a try for ages now and I managed to find one that’s two minutes away from my place. I decided to join the next accelerated 2-day OnRamp course (beginners course for new CrossFiters). That was approximately two months ago. Now, I CrossFit six times a week and on the 7th day I run or do laps at my pool. Now please note that I’m not asking you to be exercising as regularly as I do. The only reason I’m able to train this often is because I’m able to stretch and recover* correctly to maximize consistency. I currently train at CrossFit Oryx in Doha, Qatar. Everyday is a new learning experience at the box**, I take every chance I get to learn from the knowledgeable coaches in order to improve and perfect my technique. I still have a lot to learn and a lot of CrossFit moves to master, and for once, I’m actually thrilled that I still have a long way to go at this sport.

*Mobility is key! I will take on the topic in my future posts.

**CrossFit Gym

 

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First official blog post, DONE. I hope you enjoyed this read and I promise all the future posts will target one subject matter at a time and discuss them concisely.

CrossFit Community

In myCrossFitness blog, I aim to share my experience, post challenging workouts, healthy recipes, and discuss important topics/questions/doubts that we stumble upon. This blog is here for anyone and everyone who is interested in the subject matter being discussed. CrossFit is all about community and positive support. Remember, you are only challenging yourself and trying to be the best you possible. Welcome to myCrossFitness!CrossFit Community