Yoga and CrossFit? Why both?
Written by: Luke Espe, 12 Labours CrossFit
As my elusive quest for fitness continues, I continue to look for new ways to improve not only my performance but my overall fitness. Fitness is a term that has a very different meaning to each person, and that definition might change over time. Mine has changed drastically over the years, and I am sure it will continue to change.
It started with “How much do you bench press?” to “What is your 40 time?” to “How fast can you do Fran?” to “What is your snatch?”
Those questions pretty much sum up my fitness journey in the past 15 years. Probably a pretty standard progression for a lot of people, but it has evolved into more of a “How do you feel?” type of question. More importantly the question I have for my clients is “How do you feel?”. CrossFit sometimes gets a bad rap of being this brute sport with screaming, throwing up, bloody hands and injury…but as we continue to grow this brand and awareness of the brands meaning, we want it to be known that this is a way to improve your lifestyle.
Improving your lifestyle is not accomplished by hitting a WOD twice a week as we all know. It is much more than that, and we continue to try and give you those other pieces of the puzzle. Nutrition, Goal Setting, excellent coaching, elegant programming, a supportive Community, and a huge piece that some of us are still missing is recovery. Not only physical recovery, but mental as well.
I am going to give you two perspectives on yoga, one from a coach and the other as an athlete, with some additions from our Yoga Instructors.
As a coach there is one main goal for each and every one of our clients…and that goal is progress, no matter how fast or slow it might be. This does not necessarily mean weight on the bar, or how fast you do a workout! There are a few things that can increase that rate of progress, which include the following.
Movement…are we getting into positions correctly and moving in a pattern that is conducive to progress, not injury. Getting into a perfect squat is not an easy thing…especially when the mobility of a client is hindering them from getting anywhere near a proper squat. Mobility is a term that means much more than just flexibility. It is having a proper mix of Flexibility, Stability, and Body Awareness.
“The benefits of yoga for athletes are immeasurable. Regardless of the sport, a regular yoga practice will improve an athletes' flexibility, strength and balance. It goes without saying that stretching is important, but yoga offers much more than that.” Meg Fredericks Cocco
Getting into a regular Yoga practice is going to help with all three of these pieces. Our hips and thoracic spines are so jacked up from sitting at a computer all day that something as primal as squatting up and down has become close to impossible for people to accomplish.
Not only that but we don’t have the body awareness to accomplish this correctly, even with every coaching cue we could possibly throw at you. This is not an easy fix, might actually be the hardest fix of all is getting someone to actually FEEL what you are trying to explain to them. Where yoga thrives, is the amount of body awareness you gain by getting into positions you have never been to before, holding those postures and breathing through them.
I’ve said it for awhile and I will continue to say it, but clients with a Yoga background are the absolute easiest clients to coach. Their mix of flexibility, stability and body awareness make coaching easy by eliminating those barriers to proper movement. Don't worry it is not only people with previous yoga experience, it includes clients that go into a yoga practice regularly see vast improvement based solely on the fact that they can achieve a better positions by that gained mobility, stability and body awareness.
The last piece is the mental game that plays a huge role in any fitness quest, and yes I said quest again, sounds much more epic that journey.
In the first 6 months of CrossFit, we see incredible progress...then after about 6 months of so we start to see that progress slowing down. (a whole other topic, aka beginner gains) That is a hard pill for some to swallow, and it becomes a more stressful situation than it should….we start comparing ourself to others, asking questions like “why am I not progressing as fast as him or her?” Believe me, I know for a fact this happens because I have been there. Yoga gives you a space to reflect, to let go and be mindful of your quest.
“We practice mindfulness and presence to ultimately improve the quality of performance in this game called life. The most elite athletes have a drive that is fueled from within.” - Katie Ficca
This is an extremely powerful piece to the puzzle, if not the most powerful. For those of you that attended the Twilight Asana, they spoke of a term called “Kritajna” which means Gratitude. Dig a little deeper into that and it is this notion of striving for more out of yourself, while being thankful and enjoying that process or as I prefer "Quest" HA! Sorry I have the attention span of a gold fish and I'll take any chance I got to throw a Van Damme reference in there.
At least that was interpretation, and it has helped me out tremendously.
Being present and enjoying what is happening in the present is more of a lifestyle change than a change to the way you train. This is a whole other post in itself and since this post is already long enough lets just leave it at that…but when this starts to happen, you will suddenly enjoy the process much more.
A lot of the athletes benefits can be found above, but one piece that helped me out as an athlete would be BREATHING.
Yoga put me into some scenarios where it was very difficult to breath…CrossFit does that too, but Yoga brings that awareness piece into the breathing. Awareness to breathing can be as simple as not freaking out during some burpees, to learning how to control and brace your breathe for a heavy Deadlift.
“Breathing with complete awareness, deeply during a yoga class in a variety of postures absolutely expands lung capacity- amazing to tap into when you are lifting and sucking in a breath, when you need a rhythm for more wall balls or to finish that last minute on the rower.” - Erin Jeeter
Learning how to breath properly, and more importantly being mindful of your breathe is invaluable, and the benefit can be seen in every aspect of fitness, not only CrossFit or lifting weights.
To sum this up, I would like to again just put emphasis on the process. The process is more than just working out, its more than just eating right, and its more than just stretching. Respecting the process and more importantly enjoying that process is the key. Try a yoga class, give yourself a space to be mindful of the process and feel the benefits.
Thanks to our yoga instructors for the contributions to this and helping write the article, you can find their schedules below!
*This article is from 12 Labours CrossFit.
The 2017 CrossFit Open
By: Chase Ford, Owner/Head Coach
The 2017 CrossFit Open is about to kick off tonight. For some of you the CrossFit Open is the start of your competition series. For others, it is an opportunity for you to put your Fitness to a test. Whatever the reason was for you to sign up for the Open, for CrossFit One Shot - it’s a community builder. It’s a great way to meet the other people you don’t see all the time. Sweating with others throughout these workouts will bring our community even stronger. I want you to consider the following as you mentally prepare for the workouts.
Preparation: The workouts that we put you through daily, are more challenging than anything you will face in the open. The only thing that will change will be the intensity due to the competition setting. As you stare at the 5 workouts, tell yourself “I’ve done a lot harder workouts on a regular basis.”
Standards: The standards will be the same standards that we hold at CrossFit One Shot. Know the standards before 3,2,1 Go…. Is sounded. The standards are set to ensure you’re hitting full range of motion for each WOD. When you hear “No Rep” correct it quickly and move on to the next rep.
“One Shot”: One Shot is a mindset. You have One Shot at life. You’re given One Shot to make something of yourself. You have One Shot, to be the best you that you can be. You need to take that same mentality into the Open. You have one opportunity to give everything you have for the Workouts. There are no repeats. Repeating workouts DOES NOT make you a stronger Athlete. Repeating workouts DOES NOT improve your fitness. Repeating only makes you better at that workout. Nothing else. When the clock starts, give everything you have for the minutes that you’re doing the workout. Compete with no one but yourself. When the clock stops, you will know that you’ve given it everything you had for that workout.
Lastly, HAVE SOME FREAKING FUN! Cheer people on, high five everyone, and have a blast. I’m excited to be competing in my 7th CrossFit Open right next to every one of you!
- Chase Ford
Nearing Towards The End
By: Courtney Ford, Owner/Nutrition Coach
30 days is almost gone. All of you are almost there!
You’ve either omitted sugars, alcohol, grains, or something out of your diet for the last 30 days. Or you’ve tracked and logged your food religiously.
Your body composition has most likely changed. Your pants size has gone down. Your energy levels have rised. You can see a 2-pack starting to form in that abdomen of yours. Maybe you don’t even want to go back to your “old ways” anymore.
Now is the time to start thinking of what you’re going to do come day 31.
Are you going to binge eat? Eat #ALLTHEPIZZA? Drink #ALLTHECOCKTAILS? Stuff #ALLTHETACOS in your mouth?
I suggest, not.
Don’t let the last 30 days of hard work go to waste.
You’ve worked way too hard and felt way too good to throw 30 days out the window.
Grab your book, “It Starts with Food” and read up on the ways of how to reintroduce food into your diet. You’ve gone through 30 days of omitting, so that you can actually figure out if certain foods react a certain way when you eat them. Binge eating won’t help distinguish what food is causing the problem, however slowly reintroducing some will give you your answer.
Don’t just quit. Don’t just quit tracking. Flexible Dieting is the ultimate way to lead a sustainable life. The last 30 days, you shouldn’t have felt deprived AT ALL. Because you can eat what you want during Flexible Dieting, it is more emotionally and mentally stable.
What’s your next step?
Maybe it’s time to start with a nutrition coach. That’s where I come in!
An initial consultation starts with me getting to know you outside of the gym—your lifestyle, your activity level. From there we work closely together, doing weekly weigh-ins, monthly measurements and pictures, adding you to a private FB group, sharing more recipes, giving you little tidbits, and available access to any and all questions.
There is not a one size fits all for configuring your macro settings.
Your friend may weigh the same as you, but that doesn’t mean your macros are going to be the same. She may workout more than you, her metabolism may be slower, her activity level at her job is different than yours---and maybe she has some health things that you’re not aware of.
Why Flexible Nutrition?
Because we are human. We are moms. We are dads. We are business owners. We are construction workers. Fire fighters. Nurses. HR Directors. We hold all of the positions. And bottom line? WE ARE BUSY.
We shouldn’t have to feel shame or guilt when we need to send our kids to school with lunch money, rather than an organic-filled boxed lunch—because as we were making them lunch, our other child gets sick and needs our attention…or you were making your morning protein shake and the blender exploded all over, and you don’t have time to pick it up AND make another one…so you run through a drive thru on your way to work to feed yourself.
Flexible Nutrition allows us the opportunity to not feel guilt or shame with food, to learn balance and to make things work. It’s sustainable and FLEXIBLE.
By: Courtney Thorne, Olympic Weightlifting Coach
Preparing to Stay Hydrated
Written By: Courtney Ford, Co-Owner CrossFit One Shot
We’ve all grown up with the stigma that you need 8 glasses of water per day or ’64 ounces’. That’s it. Done. 8 classes consumed and I’m good to go. While this may balance out in your favor, in reality, the fluid that we intake each day has several varying factors that should influence how much we need to drink. The climate, physical activity demands, how much we’ve sweated and overall body size has EVERYTHINGTODOWITHHOWMUCHWATERYOUNEED! There’s a little more to it than just chalkin’ up you’ve had your 8 glasses or 64 ounces for the day, although that’s a good base to start at. (Don’t worry, I’ll give you a small equation in a little bit, but first I want to educate you.)
The importance of Body Water
All of our cells soak up water. With that being said, water makes up nearly 60% of our body weight. 60%! So that means if you weight 100 lbs, you carry 60 lbs of water; if you weigh 200 lbs, you carry 120 lbs of water. The amount of water we carry is based on how much body fat and muscle mass we have. Our water content depends on body composition because different cells contain different amounts of water. Now, when I think that of that I wonder, where is all of this water coming from and where is it stored?
• Bones contain the least amount holding 22%
• Adipose Tissue (body fat) holding 25%
• Muscle cells holding 75%
• Blood with the highest holding nearly 83%
As Athletes, with 60% of our body weight being made up of water and 75% of that being held in our muscle cells, WE CAN NOT DEPRIVE OUR MUSCLES OF H20.
Water comes and goes a lot of different ways. Each day we excrete water via urine, feces, sweat, and expired air. Each day we also take in water from the food we eat and the beverages we drink. Our goal is to balance the intake and balance the output so that we don’t become dehydrated.
On average, humans get about 1 L (4 cups) of water from the food we eat. Of course, this amount depends on our food selections.
• Fruits & Vegetables – have the highest percentage of water (in their raw form)
• “Wet” Carbohydrates – have a fair amount of water (ie. Whole grains, legumes)
• High Fatty Foods – typically have a very low percentage of water (ie. Nuts, seeds, oils, butter)
There are two ways to estimate your fluid needs and ensure you’re hydrated. One being by body weight, the other being by metabolic rate. We’re going to lay out the equation, estimating your fluid needs by body weight.
With this method, for every kilogram of bodyweight, you’d ingest 30-40 mL of water. So, for example, if you weigh 50kg (100lbs), you’d require 1.5 – 2 L of water per day. And if you’re 100kg (220lbs), you’d require 3-4 L of water per day. See how someone with more body weight requires MORE WATER? So our stigma of ‘x amount of glasses per day’ doesn’t rally up with this equation all the time.
Today, calculate your desired amount of water intake and put it to use! Grab a Nalgene bottle and figure out how many ounces you need to drink, based on the amount of Liters your body requires.
***Remember, this is a general equation and does not take into account added heat, extra activity, and how much we’ve sweated. Modifications may need to be made in the case one of these factors is higher than normal activity or climate has risen.
Time to drink up and eat up, better, folks!
 Berardi, John MD and Ryan Andrews, RD, “The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition,” Precision Nutrition, June 2014, pp 199-200.
Are you a Flexible Dieter and Freaking out about eating out?
By: Courtney Ford, Co-Owner of CrossFit One Shot
Often times, when we are paying attention to the things that enter our mouth,
no matter what plan we’re on, we freak out about social events or eating out.
WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?
HOW AM I GOING TO MAKE THIS WORK?
I’LL JUST CALL THIS A WASH --- THERE’S NO POINT IN TRACKING
MY FOOD TODAY.
All things that go through our mind, right?
This is crazy when I hear of people freaking out when they’re a flex dieter. The beauty of being a flexible dieter, is being able to be FLEXIBLE! There’s a few really good ways to set yourself up for success when you know you have a dinner planned on a weeknight and aren’t sure how you’re going to fit that Mexican food with chips n’ queso, a margarita and a big ‘ol burrito in your macros.
Gone are the days where we need to avoid certain restaurants or social situations that involve eating out with friends because the food is “unhealthy”. But, where the challenge with eating out often lies is with tracking the macros of what you want to eat.
It’s all about “working backwards” and planning ahead.
Step 1: The day before your dinner or whatever occasion, figure out where you’re going.
Are you familiar with the food that you may be eating? If not, look at the menu online and make a plan.
Most food establishments publish their nutritional information on their various websites and most of these items are in MyFitness Pal---ie. Mashed Potatoes Festival Foods.
Step 2: Plan your day & WORK BACKWARDS.
So, you’ve decided on a few things from the menu – now your job is to see if you can make it fit in your macros & then see what macros you have leftover for the rest of your day.
*TIP: Make sure when planning your dinner leave some wiggle room and estimate quantities on the generous side. It’s always better to overestimate rather than underestimate from a calorie perspective. (I sometimes search on MyFitness Pal for a similar item and if I have 3 choices with the lowest being 400 calories and the highest being 600 calories, I usually go with the highest.)
Step 3: TAKE IT EASY ON DRINKS
Drinking is often a big part of the social aspect of eating out, but a few beers or wines later and you could be at 500 calories in liquid alone, which is all carbs. Allow yourself a drink or two, but take it easy!
Step 4: ADD THE REST OF YOUR FOOD
Once you’ve plugged in your dinner, figure out how much you have leftover for breakfasts, lunches or snacks.
You may need to adjust a few things. Maybe instead of having 4 eggs in the morning, your dinner might only allow you to fit in 2 eggs. Maybe everyday you have Greek yogurt for a snack, but the majority of your carbs and protein are coming from your dinner, so you may need to pass on that for today.
>>>>Now, YOU HAVE YOUR ENTIRE DAY PLANNED BEFORE YOUR DAY HAS EVEN STARTED!
It’s Monday night. And you already have everything planned for your Tuesday. How easy is that?! No stressing about what food is going to enter your mouth tomorrow. Stick to your plan. And be happy about the decisions you planned to make that day!
After all, flexible dieting is a way to eat for life that allows for living. So go out there and LIVE!