Archive for ‘crossfit’

February 25, 2010

Can’t Find Time to Exercise? Try this:

Okay, okay – personal opinion, but I actually think that about 90% of health is what you put into your body (food) and 10% is what you put your body through (exercise). All that said, exercise is important, we know it but we struggle getting it done. Not enough energy, not enough time; the task seems overwhelming. Well there is good news for you. Maria Cheng’s AP article “Interval training can cut exercise hours sharply” reaffirms what we all should already know.

Interval training includes times of intense exercise mixed with rest. The general idea is to put your body in an intensely physically stressful situation and at least two things will happen. First, your muscles are shocked in a way that general exercise does not work them so they develop better and quicker. Second, your metabolism and heart rate stay higher longer after the workout continuing to burn those unwanted calories.

Interval training, which she points out was “originally developed for Olympic athletes and thought to be too strenuous for normal people.” Normal, I’m guessing, meaning out of shape. But recent studies have shown that this belief that only an elite athlete can handle it as being false. Cheng references that studies that include older people and people with health problems can handle interval training.

Jan Helgerud, an authority on this topic, was quoted saying, “High-intensity interval training is twice as effective as normal exercise This is like a new pill that works twice as well.” Just think – you can work smarter and faster, saving time and being healthier for it.

Cheng’s article sites running, biking, rowing and swimming. Cheng’s article rightly gets token quotes that both support and disavow interval training.

What is worth grasping from Cheng’s article and the concept of interval training is the idea of intense workout. For most people, I think that the biggest issue with exercise really is not time, but is enjoyment. We don’t like to exercise. I am an avid believer in finding something you enjoy because I think two things will happen from this: 1. You will stay with it longer if it is something that refreshes you not only when you are done, but also during your workout. 2. The key to physical fitness (outside of diet) is intensity. Simply, most of us get winded doing our workout because we don’t push it.

Truth is that it is hard to take your intensity to the gym day in and day out – unless you love it. So, while Cheng’s article highlights the typical interval workout the truth is you have a lot of options that really work. You can box, do martial arts, rock climb, gymnastics, plyometrics, dance, etc.

Since this is my blog, let me tell you my favorite approach to fitness. This approach includes intensity with the result of unimaginable results in your physical fitness. Personal testimony here, so yes, no overstatement that the results are unimaginable. I’m talking about Crossfit. Crossfit’s philosophy is about truly being fit – no just looking fit. Or to put it another way, don’t do Crossfit if you are just trying “to look good.” You would have to toss out your vanity to try any number of exercises. To make my point, Crossfit does a competition every year called The Crossfit Games, where the winners (male/female) are given the title “World’s Fittest Men and Women on Earth.” No, I don’t think it is an exaggeration. Consider:

Event 1: 7km Hill Run
Event 2: Deadlift one rep every 30 sec moving from 315lbs to 505lbs in 10lb increments (women went from 185lbs to 375lbs)
Event 3: 170m Hill Sprint with two 35lb sandbags (women used a single sandbag)
Event 4: Row 500m, pound a 4′ stake into the ground, Row 500m (women used a 3′ stake)
Event 5: Couplet, which was 3 Rounds for time of 30 Wallball / 30 75lb Squat Snatch (women used 14lb medicine ball and a 45lb barbell)

Event 6: Max load Barbell Snatch
Event 7: Triplet, which was max rounds in 8min of 4 Handstand Pushups / 8 32kg KB Swings / 12 GHD Situps (women used a 24kg KB)
Event 8: Chipper, which was 15 barbells cleans (155/100lbs), 30 toes to bar, 30 box jumps (24/20″), 15/10 muscle-ups, 30 push presses (40/25lbs), 30 double-unders, 15 thrusters (135/95lbs), 30 pull-ups, 30 burpees, 300′ overhead walking lunges (45/25lb plate)

Crossfit combines Olympic lifting, power lifting, plyometrics, and gymnastics for strength and conditioning. It is intense from start to finish with an average workout time of 20 minutes. Some workouts are as short as 6 minutes, other as much as 30 minutes. But when you actually master the different workout and techniques only your 10k should take longer.

The nice thing is that every day’s workout is posted online for free. Just take a look. You don’t know what is coming so you can’t get bored, you will be challenged, your muscles will keep guessing and you’ll be healthier for it.

Final note: Please seek professional advice on lifting techniques before trying these exercises. Most areas have Crossfit gyms you can join if you want. The advantage of joining a gym is accountability and technique. Crossfit is more interested in your technique than your weight.

Now that you have extra time due to more productive workouts you can visit my blog more often!

August 4, 2009

Save the Kittens!!

No wonder there is a shortage of Kittens!