Father Andrew's Hot Body Gym

April 2, 2010

Primal Challenge 2010

Filed under: diet — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Mara @ 8:08 am

As part of our goal here at FAHBG to shape our bodies and minds closer to the ideal God created us for, we have decided to undertake a Primal Challenge (based loosely on Crossfit Integrity’s Paleo Challenge). Many of us have been off our game recently – whether still recovering from holiday snack habits or fasting for Lent – and our diets and fitness levels have generally not been what we hope they would be.

It’s time we got back on the wagon, hardcore. To help us do this, we have set up a point system to track our dietary habits and keep us accountable, and simultaneously we will be embarking upon a strength program based on Whole9’s PTP program. Basically, we will be deadlifting and overhead pressing multiple times every week, focusing on strength over metcons (no matter how sexy).

So pull up your shorts (ala Josh), chalk up your hands, and purge your kitchen of all illicit food-like substances, ’cause this here is fo’ real!


Duration: Saturday, April 10, 2010 to May 22, 2010

Before and Afters:
Photo – front, side and back view (optional)
Measurements – body weight, waist circumference, and body fat (optional)
Performance – 1 mile run, CrossFit Total, Fran (if you’ve done these within the last month or so, you can count those times, if not, you need to do them before we start)

Nutrition Log – track your eating habits for at least a week before the challenge begins so you can see how much your habits change during the challenge

Results:
1.  Measurement Improvements – weight, waist, and body fat plus visual change
2.  Performance Improvements – 1 mile run, CrossFit Total, Fran
3.  Scoring – points from daily nutrition and activity log

Scoring:
You will be required to keep track of your eating in a Nutrition log.  From this log, you will give a daily score of 0-10 based on your compliance with the Primal Diet.  A score of 10 would represent a day of eating like a true hunter gatherer: nothing but meat, fish, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
~ 1 point off for every serving of: beans, hummus, peanuts, peas, agave, honey, real maple syrup, dried fruit, sweet or creamy salad dressings, or dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. and not including butter, heavy cream, or protein powder)
~ 2 points off for every serving of: soy products, quinoa, hot dogs, fast food meat
~ 3 points off for every serving of: grains of any kind including oatmeal, corn, millet, whatever.
~ 4 points off for every serving of:  Soda, juice, sports drinks, white potato, most restaurant appetizers, cookies, all non-primal baked goods, ice cream, frozen yogurt, sweets, pancakes, processed marinades, BBQ sauce, anything with high fructose corn syrup, sugar added dried fruit, pizza, beer, wine and all alcoholic drinks. Exceptions: dark chocolate over 60% is no penalty, and up to 4 oz of red wine is no penalty.

If you know something is not primal but you’re not sure how many points to take off, just use your judgment. Obviously eating a donut should merit more points off than eating some lentils. If you make a primal dessert, just count off for any honey or flour you use, rather than counting it as a sweet. If you make butternut squash (primal food so no penalty) but add HFCS maple syrup substitute, you will need to subtract 4 points for every serving of syrup consumed. If you consume only half a serving size, then only subtract 2 points.

Note: It is important that you track absolutely everything you consume. Guess on your portion sizes if you’re eating out, but be as accurate as you can. Overestimate rather than underestimate – a portion size is often smaller than we think. For example, 1 can of soda is 2 servings.  This means that if you drink an entire can you would lose 8 points. A serving of ice cream is usually half a cup, but most of us usually eat at least twice that in a sitting. If you go out for ice cream, you’re probably looking at 3-5 servings!

BONUS POINTS:
You may earn up to 8 bonus points per day to help make up for all those dietary cheats.

1.  One bonus point for everyday you participate in a CrossFit-style, high intensity workout. The benefits of a Primal lifestyle are magnified when combined with a training program that combines constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements.

2.  One bonus point for everyday you consume at least 6 grams of Fish oil. Our primary goal with this challenge is to reduce Silent Inflammation.  Silent inflammation is far more insidious than classic inflammation because it is at the molecular level and may not be detected until it’s too late. It doesn’t generate the pain associated with classic inflammation and therefore goes untreated for years or even decades. Virtually every type of chronic disease (heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s) has a significant inflammatory component as its underlying cause. Fish oil and its high quality Omega 3s seems to be a miracle cure.

3.  One bonus point for everyday that you stretch MORE than 10 minutes.

4.  One bonus point for every night that you sleep 8 hours or more.

5. One bonus point every time you engage in a low level activity (like going for a walk, playing a game, gardening) for MORE than 30 minutes.

6. One bonus point every day you eat at least .7 grams of protein per lean pound of body weight. For example, I weigh 145 pounds, with about 20% body fat which equals about 30 pounds of fat. So my lean body weight is 115, multiplied by .7 equals 80 grams of protein per day.

7. One bonus point every day you eat LESS than .7 grams of carbohydrate per lean pound of body weight. So with the example above, I would need to eat less than 80 grams of carbohydrate per day.

8. One bonus point every day you eat at least 3 cups of green (or otherwise high nutrient) veggies (including real lettuce (not iceberg), spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, beets, kale, etc. and NOT including carrots, sweet potatoes, avocados, tomatoes, or green beans, which are higher carb/fat veggies).

By tracking your eating and activity, you should come up with your total for each day: between – infinity and 18 points.

I like to use mydailyplate.com to track my eating habits, which is free and user friendly.

Post questions and comments below…. Who’s with me??

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January 27, 2010

CrossFit One Year Anniversary

Filed under: real talk — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mara @ 4:15 pm

By Joan Sangree, age 60

During the Christmas vacation of 2008, my daughter, Mara, and her husband, Joshua, introduced me to Crossfit. I have done a morning routine of stretches and exercises for many years, which kept me fairly limber with some tone. I could manage my farm life including lifting 50-pound bales of hay. However, when I received the diagnosis of osteopenia, the beginning stages of osteoporosis, I knew I had to do something more. Knowing myself, I needed something that I could do at home and that was short. Crossfit was the perfect solution.

That first workout of simple squats, presses, and lunges seemed manageable. I felt energized and excited. I was proud of keeping up, and thought I was in pretty good shape, given my age (59 then).  The wake up call came the next day, and for the duration of the vacation, when I had to hold onto the sink to lift myself off the toilet; my quads were so sore!

Over the last year, I have kept up a Crossfit workout 4-5 times per week. During the other days, I have continued my old routine, which included running on a mini trampoline. I had only a few CF routines, provided by Mara and Josh, and minimal equipment. Over time, I increased my weights, and I only recently added hill sprints.

Occasionally I would slack off and avoid doing CF for a longer stretch. I noticed that quite quickly my weak areas started giving me trouble. I have had a vulnerable right hip since pregnancy that has sometimes hurt so much it kept me awake at night. But when I do squats regularly, I don’t hurt. My old routine had not sufficiently protected me from this pain, but somehow CF does.

So, groaning and grunting, despite not wanting to get up some mornings to face CF, alone, with no one to coach me or share in my pain, I have persevered. When the group talked about their goals, I thought, “Mine is just to continue!” I regularly remind myself that I feel better, that I love having muscles in my arms and back that I can see (visual reinforcement!), and that I assume my bones are getting stronger. That test will come later this year.

This Christmas, as I reached my CF anniversary, again on vacation in Tallahassee, I thrilled myself by completing the workouts the kids were doing (if scaled), including sprints that used to exacerbate my hip. The coup de gras, however, was when I dead-lifted 125lbs several times! Absolutely amazing.

Thank you, Mara and Josh, for your patience, coaching, and enthusiasm, even from afar. I hear you with me in my head during my workouts, and it helps keep me going.

Joan gets set to deadlift for her second time ever...

... and she has the 125# off the ground!

Congrats to Joan for her perseverance and the courage to make a change when many might give up!

January 12, 2010

Paleo goes Pop Culture

Filed under: diet — Tags: , , , — Micah Vandegrift @ 4:07 pm

Last week the New York Times ran this piece which profiles more than a few self-proclaimed modern “cavemen” living in New York City who nourish their bodies in a particular way… following the Paleo diet! They also mention how the diet is gaining notoriety through being linked to Crossfit.

How are we to respond to this? Do we celebrate our little niche eating habits getting some much deserved attention? Or will this attention harm the movement, and produce a backlash of “data” and “studies” showing how harmful red meat is for the colon? Isn’t this the same dilemma that is always facing ideas that go against the norm, gain a following and then break onto a larger scale? Thoughts, comments? Do the results speak for themselves?

Exciting to say the least!

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December 21, 2009

Crossfit Culture and the Lack of the Male Voice

Filed under: real talk — Tags: , , , , , — Micah Vandegrift @ 10:52 am

As many of us are aware, there is a gendered element to almost any modern cultural practice. I was taught during my time in school to critique and question the culture that surrounds me, in effort to challenge myself as a thoughtful, informed human being and to hopefully inspire others to look at things differently too. I had not considered applying these skills to my involvement in the fitness/health sphere until recently, but when I started to think through what I was seeing and reading I knew I had to formulate some sort of commentary.

from Crossfit Unlimited

The culture of sport is, like many other aspects of life, inextricably divided on gender lines. We have addressed some of these issues in past posts on this very blog, and I don’t think I need to go through a history and update on the state of male/femaleness in American sports. Let it suffice to say that in recent years there have been considerable movements for the inclusion and acceptance of females as high-performing, capable, amazing athletes. In fact, I would go so far to say that Crossfit is doing a lot currently to empower females to their full potential, and in my brief experience with the Crossfit movement there seem to be as many female heroes doing Crossfit as there are males. As you might be picking up, my issue here is not with the treatment of females in the movement, but with the image of the males involved. So with this all in mind, here is my query – if this movement is so focused on creating a balance of health in real life, how do we account for the apparent lack of male voices discussing fitness, lifestyle and reality outside of the WOD and the gym? Is Crossfit, like the popular perception of many other strength-based programs, populated by a bunch of numskulls and jocks who care solely about their Over-head squat max?

Again, based on my short and limited experience with Crossfit, filtered through blogs, online videos and discussion boards, I’d like to think that those voices exist. There are some extraordinarily gifted and intelligent men out there who we see a glimpse of every now and again. (Jon Gilson of Again Faster and Robb Wolf come to mind). But, the overwhelming majority of writers/voices that are discussing and connecting Crossfit to real life, with personality and relatability, seem to be female. Two ladies that the team here at FAHBG like to follow are Thera Storm and Melissa Urban. My question is this: are there male voices out there writing about Crossfit AND life? And if, so why are they not rising to the top and receiving recognition within the community? To further complicate things, is the movement, by not having/encouraging such a male voice, relegating females to a particular role – as behind the scenes commentors/writers – and thus limiting their influence or agency in the Crossfit culture? I don’t even want to get into the objectification issue, as more and more hits on our blog are coming from searches for “Sexy Crossfit Girls” ect. (Not to mention 90% of the pics on the CFHQ website home page are of sweaty, good looking females.)

As a young, educated male with broad and varied interests, I would feel a lot more comfortable associating myself with the sport and community of Crossfit if it seemed like there were other, similarly interesting men in the movement sharing their experiences working out and living outside the gym. Fortunately, there are several such characters in our garage community, and I think we represent balance pretty well, pushing hard in the gym and pursuing our various interests with the same fervor. And yet, even as I am writing this, I can imagine the comments and heckling that one might endure if a male Crossfitter were to write and share about life the same way Thera and Melissa do. Perhaps this is all just that 14 year old punkrocker in me, tired of being picked on by the football team, wishing to bulk up like Henry Rollins, and still wear my politics and beliefs on my sleeve.

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This post was inspired positively by Thera’s amazing post on the value of women, Melissa Urban’s letter to her mom, and inspired negatively by the current controversy within Crossfit surrounding Robb Wolf. This is also meant as a challenge and encouragement for men in the community to speak up, write and share!

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