Sunday, March 27, 2011

Is Crossfit becoming a generic term?

After reading various crossfit hater threads I've come to realize exactly what is Crossfit(Tm), and there's a difference from what Glassman defines as crossfit and what I've thought of as crossfit. Here are a couple specifics of what is Crossfit(Tm)
  • High intensity all the time
  • No periodization
  • No strength bias
However, here in CFOT we def have a stregnth bias, do the 5/3/1 periodization, and not every workout is max intensity. Yet if you ask any of the members here if they do crossfit they'll answer in the affirmative. This got me to thinking of this scenerio:

Affiliate starts @fit within the original definition. People get hurt and become weaker, so the affiliate evolves and adapts, reducing intensity in some wods, adding a strength bias, etc. However, they still want to tap into the marketing that is @fit so they retain their affiliation. People attend this crossfit gym that isn't doing @fit. However, they don't know any better so if you ask them what crossfit means they'll tell you based on their experience that it is oly lifting with short circuits afterward because that's what they do at their "crossfit" gym. To them, that is crossfit. And as this happens more and more, the definition to the general population will expand more and more, much like how any copy machine is commonly refereed to a Xerox machine, or how Pilates can now be used by unofficial studios.

This may mean that there may become a time where crossfit will become so synonymous with cross training that Glassman will lose the right to exclusivity on the trademark, and anyone could use it, even if they aren't affiliated and aren't doing @fit.

Pilates is a great example of what I'm foreseeing here, as this article here states:
In 1991, the management of a now-defunct studio and training company called Pilates, Inc. announced that it had acquired and owned trademarks in the Pilates name for a method of exercise, studios and equipment. The company began issuing cease-and desist letters, many to small studios that were struggling along and could ill afford to engage in a legal battle over what they were legitimately teaching. Many continued in business by avoiding the use of the word “Pilates” in their advertising, flyers and on business cards. If people called to ask whether they taught Pilates, they’d respond that they were teaching exercises “based on the teachings of Joseph Pilates.” In the face of threat from Pilates, Inc., studios and instructors actually began referring to “Pilates” as “the P word.”

There were other studios, however, as well as trainees at Pilates, Inc., who bought licenses to use the “Pilates” name in their advertising. Some did so reluctantly, while others acted as informers, turning in unlicensed teachers and studios so that Pilates, Inc. could take legal action. Sadly, these people thought it was in their economic best interest to keep Pilates restricted to one school.
Finally in 2000, the United States District Court in Manhattan declared that “Pilates” could not be a trademark because it was the generic name for a method of exercise. Pilates, Inc.’s trademark for equipment was also invalidated, on the grounds that Pilates, Inc. had committed fraud on the Patent & Trademark Office. Now the word was free to be used by all.

At that point, the Pilates dam burst. The publicity from the trial gave the community a much needed push. The Internet was moving into high gear, which really helped spread the word about the method. Mari Winsor began to appear on infomercials. What started as a method known primarily among dancers became huge. Even better, the invalidation of the trademarks unifi ed a large segment of the community and was a major factor in creating the large but close-knit group we have become.
There may be a time where crossfit will refer to any cross training program, and Glassman may lose his grip on the brand. Whether this is a good thing or not depends on your point of view, but it will be interesting to see what actually does happen.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Definitely getting a six pack

So while I'm getting weaker I'm definitely starting to see my abs. It's interesting because I've never seen them before, so I always wondered what they look like. Would they be asymmetrical? Ovalish? Blockish? Kinda Tear-Dropish? I've been seeing hints of them for some time, but I know that these ghost images of abs are so slight that I'm probably the only person that can see them.

But as I walked by a mirror yesterday I saw myself and was like, "wait a minute, can I really see an individual ab muscle?" Not only that, but when I run my hand over it I can actually feel the bumps that are my abdominal muscles. This is pretty awesome, so I decided to take a picture (so vain, I know), and after a lot of consideration I've decided to post it here. I've kind of realized the douciness of posting pictures and videos to show how "elite" you are, but this is more of a progress report. I have better days and worse days, but over time the better days get better and the worse days get less worse, and I feel like I've finally, finally, reached a point where the camera can pick up the definition in my stomach. So I'm doing this not to show off because I'm "elite", but because I am damn proud of the results of all my hard work and dedication. I know the photo is grainy and I apologize for the quality, kind of looks like a loch ness monster photo all hazy, but I'm not going to make this a glamor shot you know?

Regardless, I'm pretty damn pumped about this and I'm looking forward to summer and pool season.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Definitely getting weaker.

We found our 5 rep back squat max the other day with Chains, and I only got up to 185#s about 20 pounds lighter than when I did this May last year. That's pretty sad. I don't know why I'm getting weaker, I'm eating clean food constantly plus two protein shakes a day, one in the morning and one right after the workout, not to mention I'm sleeping all the time as well as hydrating and massaging. It's a lot of work, and I guess I would expect better results. Some may argue it's the fact I'm doing crossfit, and crossfit will make you weaker after a certain point, but I don't think I've reached that point (it's more like crossfit won't get you to a 700# deadlift, while I'm still hovering around 300#).

I really doubt it's a matter of pushing myself, I know I've lifted heavier, but when I tell my body to push, it just doesn't seem to respond like it used to. I remember when I could do 10 reps of 600# on the leg press machine pre-crossfit, which makes me wonder what I can leg press now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Swam yesterday

Yesterday I visited an Alexandria Masters swimming program with some crossfit friends who are doing it to train for a triathlon, and it felt good to get back into the water.

My father, as I've mentioned earlier, was a really good swimmer (in college he led his team to win the national championship), so they put me in swimming class early, and I proved to be a good swimmer as well. I was doing so well that I competed with older kids. When I was nine I was competing in a 13 and under league, and although I could handle it physically, I was having issues emotionally.

Being nine years old, I didn't really get along with the teenagers (I mean, they had already hit puberty for goodness sake), and the coach wasn't used to dealing with a third grader, so I think I rubbed him the wrong way at times. But I did have one friend, can't remember his name but he was younger as well, like 11. Things were fine until the first swim meet, where I got first place in every event I competed in, beating my friend (who got second in every event where he went up against me). After that, he told me that was not longer my friend, and after a week or so of not talking to each other, and not having any other friends, I had finally had it and quit.

That was 21 years ago (God that makes me feel old), but I still have many clear memories associated with swimming. When I was younger, probably around six or seven, I remember the mental exercises I did to push myself as hard as I could. I was at the YMCA, and the drill was freestyle, fast as you can. I don't remember the distance, but what I do remember was the last 50m or so. My muscles are burning and I am gasping for air when bring my mouth to the side. But I had a trick to overcome this.

I was a big fan of the cartoon Popeye (my family didn't have cable until the year 2002), and there was one episode where he eats his spinach and jumps off a boat and swims to an island to go fight Bruto. I would imagine I was Popeye, and to the tune of the theme song I would push myself as hard as I could. I couldn't stop because Popeye didn't stop, and it always got me to the end.

My visit to the pool yesterday didn't require me to dig that deep, we did a lot of work on being slow, relaxed, and efficient. I was really rusty, trying to keep looking ahead and raising my head. Raising your head lowers your body, so you're no longer riding on top of the water but dragging through it. I decided to switch to alternating my breath, breathing every three strokes, and this really helped even me out. The coach said I looked like a totally different person, and then started including that into his coaching technique, requiring us to breathe every three strokes. That made me feel pretty cool, like when I made an objection in my trial advocacy class that inspired the professor to use it as the first question in his evidence exam.

So I swam the whole time, which was about an hour and 15 minutes, I think, maybe longer. I wasn't fatigued in the muscle sense, but when I stopped I realized I was dizzy from working out while holding my breath. I think I'll start adding this to my routine, swimming every Sunday, had a good time.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Snatch PR

Wednesday we got to find our 1 rep snatch max, and I was excited. Since I've started coaching, I've really started understanding the movements we do. Most people will tell you, teaching is a great learning tool, and it's no different with coaching. This is one (of many) reasons why I've wanted to become a coach. Anyway, after coaching the snatch last week I've been thinking about how important it is to get under the bar and catch it with active shoulders, and I think it showed today. My PR is 145, and I know I have the strength to go higher because I can overhead squat 195. Today I got 155, although I had to press it out just the slightest bit on the left shoulder. I think my biggest issue is just getting comfortable getting under some weight. I have the speed, and getting under 145 is no problem, looks fantastic. But with 155 I realize this is heavy, and I kind of freak out. I think just doing some practice will help with that.

Some day I want to be able to snatch my bodyweight, and it seems like I'm on my way, especially if I keep losing weight (however I think I might be staying steady now that I'm getting in some protein shakes).

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Continually tweaking the diet.

I've really been tired this past month. The feeling is hard to describe, other than just beat up, and not just mentally. There are some personaly reasons why I wouldn't be feeling my best, but I've still been feeling like something is wrong. Although I feel like I am starting to look better and better, I don't feel like I should feel lousy. When I weighed myself earlier this week I weighed 188 pounds. That means I've lost about eight pounds since I've started the paleo challenge here at CFOT. That made me think the two are linked, and I think I've found the answer, I'm not eating enough protein.

I was originally a Zoner. Although I'm now following Paleo, I've been trying to combine the two. From what I've calculated earlier, I should have 4 block snacks and 2 block snacks. That's for a total of 16-18 blocks (and that was when I was weighing 205!). I've always felt this wasn't enough, but the calculations keep getting back to that result. It's 7 grams of protein a block, so that means I've been eating roughly 112-120g of protein.

That is waaaay too little.

A good rule of thumb is you should eat a gram of protein for a pound of lean body mass. Assuming a 15% bodyfat (Which, honestly, I feel is generous because I seem to have better definition then when I was in High School and that was when I had 12%), I have 160 pounds of lean body mass. That means I should be eating roughly 40g of protein more than what I've been doing.

When I first figured this out I'll admit my first response was something akin to "Well great, how am I going to get that much protein?" I already feel like I'm eating all the time, and preparing/buying even more protein is going to be costly both in money and in time. So what's a crossfitter to do?

I think the answer is protein shakes. I've always been hesitant about them, not sure why. I guess because they're unnatural? I don't know. But whatever gave me pause isn't an issue now, because I've been downing a shake at least once a day.

I know everyone has their own personal preference of protein powder, and what I'm trying now is about time protein. One of my friends works for them, and so of course it came highly recommended. I got Chocolate and a trial taste of mocha mint and cinnamon swirl. So far I've tried it with some almond milk, and it's pretty tasty, but not very filling. However, since I've started taking them I have started feeling much much better. I mean I still feel sore as hell, but I just feel better.

This tweak and my daily GHD work will hopefully get me that freaking six pack I've always wanted.