nutrition

26 Mar 2016 – What's coming up after the Open?

What's coming up after the Open?

With only one workout to go, the 2016 CrossFit Open is nearing the end... so what's up next for you Crazy Ones? 

The months after the Open are typically considered the 'Off-season' for athletes who do not make it to Regionals or the Games. Off-season is usually a time to re-focus one's training, build solid foundations for the training year ahead and address any weaknesses or imbalances.

Even though we aren't necessarily aiming for the CrossFit Games, having off-seasons can still be of great value to us in our training and progression as athletes and generally fit individuals.


With that, our next cycle has three main goals:

  1. A primary focus of developing strength and capacity in both gymnastics and barbell movements 
  2. A secondary focus on addressing areas of weakness and movement patterns that typically get missed out with classic CrossFit style programming: Rotational activities (frontal and transverse plane), unilateral loading patterns, grip strength
  3. A tertiary aim to build aerobic capacity.


So what can you expect over the next 8-10 weeks?

Lots of heavy lifting and lots of strict gymnastics coupled with a whole range of pre-hab, stability, and mobility-based exercises. 

Each week will follow a similar template:

Monday: Max effort upper body (push press, bench press etc) + Strength assistance + Accessory

Tuesday: Skill Development & Metabolic Conditioning (MetCon)

Wednesday: Max effort lower body (squat, deadlift, etc.) + Strength assistance + Accessory

Thursday: Skill Development & MetCon

Friday: Skill Development & Heavy MetCon

Saturday: Repetition day (gymnastics, barbell) 

Sunday: Olympic Lifting & Dynamic effort lower body (squat, deadlift, etc.) + assistance


Importance of rest days

Rest and recovery is of the utmost importance. During a cycle such as this, we recommend taking 1-2 days off training each week. Your hard work in the gym only comes to fruition with adequate rest, that's where the magic happens!


What about my conditioning?!

Don't worry about this, we have you covered.

Whilst many of the days won't have you collapsing to the ground in the fetal position, you can be sure you will get more than enough conditioning work. 

Remember, the goal of this cycle is to build the foundations of strength, iron out our weaknesses and build aerobic capacity. With a stronger foundation, we can better support the higher intensity workouts.

If you feel you need the extra conditioning work, we recommend you join in on Sunday's 'Engine Work', a class programmed to build your aerobic base and develop your anaerobic capacity.


Testing Week

The first week after the Open we will have a Testing Week. As we are entering a strength cycle, we will be testing some of your 1-rep max lifts and some heavy MetCons, with some gymnastics thrown in for good measure.
 

Anything else I should know?

Yes!

Take a look at the pyramid of fitness...

 

What serves as the pyramid's foundation?

NUTRITION!

To make the absolute most out of the next cycle you need to be eating enough food to support this training cycle. You need the best nutrition to optimise recovery, to fuel your training intensity, and to maximise your strength development.

During this training cycle, we are offering 2 months of our Individualised Nutrition Programming for just £115 (over a 15% discount!). This will start from day 1 of the new cycle, beginning Monday 4 April. If you are interested in trying out the Nutrition Programming, e-mail Coach Maria to get set up!

01 Feb 2016 - The Window of GAINZ: Part 2

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The 'Window of Gainz', the 'Anabolic Window’ the 'Window of Opportunity’ (always the window?!)...

Supposedly, the Window of Gainz is a period of time after your training session when your body and muscles are particularly primed to accept food and shuttle it towards conversion into lean muscle mass. Bro-science traditionally puts this window somewhere between thirty minutes to two hours after your workout.

In Part 1 we looked at the REAL window of GAINZ, so make sure you check it out!

So, surely now it’s time to look at that post-workout window?! Time to tell you the magic ingredients to stick in your protein shake? Weeeellllll, not quite.

Before we look at post-workout nutrition, it makes sense to first look at pre-workout nutrition!

What are you fuelling yourself with BEFORE your training session, and how will this help towards your long term goals?

Training Intensity

The intensity of your training is what gives you results. We have used this quote time and time again:

“Intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing the rate of return of favourable adaptation” - Greg Glassman

Intensity is equal to average power (or Phil's gurn face). The higher the power output in your training session the higher the intensity. This can be boiled down to lifting more weight, doing more work and moving faster than last time. 

(Caveat: Intensity must be pursued relative to the physical and psychological tolerance of the individual.)

So how do we train with intensity? Well in order to do this we need to have the fuel that allows us to operate to our maximum capacity. 

Enter, pre-workout nutrition….

Pre-workout nutrition

When it comes to building muscle, losing fat, becoming stronger and faster, recovering better, WHEN you eat is as important as WHAT you eat. If we are properly fuelled we can train with maximum intensity to ensure we continue to develop. 

So what does this look like?

CrossFit is a high-intensity exercise program, and high intensity exercise needs certain macro-nutrients if we want to perform at our best.

Glucose: This is the main fuel source for high intensity exercise, and we ingest this when we eat carbohydrates. Without adequate carbohydrate consumption to fuel intense exercise we will not be able to generate maximum power. Without adequate carbohydrates your energy levels will be low and you will sandbag that met-con you were so looking forward to. 

Sandbagging = lack of effort (intensity!)
Decreased intensity = decreased results

To compound matters, if we are in a state of glucose/glycogen depletion our levels of the hormone insulin will be low. As a result it is thought that glucagon (another hormone) steals amino acids from our muscles so it can convert them to glucose to provide energy. 

Low insulin makes it possible for catabolic hormones to "steal" your gains! 

So carbohydrates are important for exercise, especially for high intensity exercise! But our bodies need more than just carbohydrates, they also need protein.

Protein: Protein is the building block of muscles and it is used to rebuild and repair muscle tissue during stages of recovery and to keep our bodies functioning.

By ingesting protein before a workout you will spare muscle protein, negate protein degradation, and set the muscle up for regeneration and remodelling (aka recovery).

So we need protein and carbohydrates before we train, but how much and when?!

This is hugely variable depending on your weight, body composition, goals, length of training session, what’s involved in the training session etc etc. But we can provide some general guidelines....

How much?

Generally you want a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein

  • Trying to lose or gain weight: Protein wants to be around 0.44g/kg of target bodyweight
  • To maintain weight: Protein wants to be around 0.44g/kg of present bodyweight 

So if I am looking to maintain by present bodyweight of 75kg, my pre workout protein would be 33g (75 x .44). For carbohydrates I know I need a 2:1 ratio, in this case it would be 66g (33 x 2).

When & What?

  • <60 minutes prior to a workout: This will probably need to be in the form of a shake or smoothie as it takes less time to digest and enters your system faster.
  • 60-90 minutes: Eat real food where possible 

So that's your lot for today! Still no closer to the post-workout window yet...but hopefully you are beginning to understand that there is more to this than simply a post-wod shake!

Stay tuned for Part 3...and just maybe we will address post workout nutrition ;)

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Conditioning: Watch the Clock

A1) 21-15-9
Deadlifts (125/82.5 kg)
Box Jumps (30/24 in) 
* Time cap: 8 minutes

When the clock hits 10:00

A2) 4 Rounds for time
12 Pull-Ups
12 Burpees
200m Run
*Time cap: 14 minutes


Are you ready to see if you're better than you were last year? To test your limits? To exceed your expectations?  To smash 5 weeks of epic WODs with your fellow Crazy Ones?

There's only one way to find out... Sign up for the 2016 CrossFit Open and join Team CrossFit 1864!

Check our recent blog post for more details on the Open.

Register via the CrossFit Games page here and make sure you choose CrossFit 1864 as your affiliate!

19 Aug 2015 – Your top 3 goals & how to hit them!

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So your goals have been set, let the good times roll! You can just carry on with your day to day lives and your goals will be brought to you by a leprechaun riding a unicorn, that farts rainbows (ahh, if only!). 

Writing down your goals is just the first step. Unless you change something about what you are currently doing then ain't nothin' gonna change and your goals and visions will stay as just that. 

So, I have put together some information to get you started based on the most popular goals we've seen so far..

Goal 1: Mobility

Mobility has formed a huge part of your goals, from tight ankles to stiff upper backs. This makes us happy because it shows us that you all understand how important good mobility is to achieving better movement! 

There are 3 areas you need to address to make your mobility gains stick.

Mobilise: Think mashing (lacrosse ball, barbell, a Super Friend's foot!) and stretching drills. You need to do a minimum of 1-3 drills per day, spending at least 2 minutes per side on your problem areas. To help with this head over to Youtube, type in MWOD and whatever body part you are working on e.g. MWOD shoulder or MWOD ankle. Reams of resources right there.

Activate: Chances are that if something is 'tight' or 'short' that something else is not doing its job properly (often the opposing muscles). For example, when the chest is tight and the shoulders are rounded then the muscles of the upper back are elongated and in a 'weakened' position. This can impact your shoulder function. 

The majority of the population who are desk-bound will fall into this category, so here is a great shoulder protocol called Iron Symmetry. Mobilise the tight bits around the shoulder (chest, triceps, lats, serratus) then hit these drills. This is a great protocol for those of you who suffer with shoulder pain.

If you mobilise your lower half (hips and ankles) then simple bodyweight squats and lunges, focusing on correct movement is a great way to re-enforce your new mobility gains. Mobilise then perform 30-50 of your best reps.

Strengthen: You will get at the gym. Learning to move correctly and using your new ranges of motion will help you to develop strength in the right areas.

Goal 2: Body Composition

Our next most popular goal was related to body composition, in particular fat loss. 

Nutrition is the basis of any successful training program, you cannot out-train a bad diet, it just won't happen. So we advise that you stick to Greg Glassman's (Founder of CrossFit) words of wisdom "Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat."  Basically cut out the processed crap and added sugar and replace it with whole, natural real foods. 

Here are 3 top resources to get you going:

1) Not sure how much to eat, but don't want to count weigh and measure food? Precision Nutrition has a great portion guide which is super easy to use.
2) Clueless on what foods you should be eating and what needs to be binned? Check out this guide to good food choices. 
3) Wondering whether you have to eat like this alllll the time? We encourage you to enjoy favourite foods, just in moderation. In general you want to aim to eat 80%+ of your meals following the food guidelines. In 20% of meals you can have a little leeway and enjoy your favourite foods (just don't go crazy). If you follow this '80/20 rule' you can still get the results you are after while maintaining a social life. Here is a great guide to Nutritional Off-Roading.

If you need more of a helping hand with your nutrition then you could also consider using the CrossFit 1864 Nutrition Program!

Goal 3: Gymnastics

Pull-ups dominated your goals, along with push-ups, muscle-ups and other gymnastic elements. 

This is going to require some extra work on your behalf. Whilst we do these movements in the classes you will need to be attacking this goal several times a week.

A great tool you can use is called volume training. This targets movements using specific and repetitive training for a particular weakness. This method can be used for any movement, from practicing a backhand technique in tennis, shooting free throws in basketball, or pressing to handstand in gymnastics. The goal is to develop proprioception and endurance (the ability to reproduce something many times over and over) in that specific movement pattern.

We also have a much more encompassing approach, our six week course, Developing Gymnastics Strength: Pull-ups and Dips. This 6 week course will focus on pull-ups and push-ups/ring dips - designed to get your first ones or improve your capacity in the movements if you already have a few strict ones. The course includes elements of strength development, volume training and specific assistance exercises that are key to developing these movements. Sign up here or email maria@crossfit1864.com for more info.
 

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Every 2 minutes for 20 minutes - Alternate between:

A1) 5 Back squat
A2) 10 Plate face pulls + 40m Overhead walk

B) Assistance Supersets

For 15 minutes, cycle through:
10 Good mornings
15 Glute bridges
20 second chest to bar hold
25 second hollow hold, weighted
- Aim for 2-4 rounds

13 July 2015 - Our Top 3 Nutrition Tips


Today, we are going to look at our top 3 tips to optimise your training, performance and body composition.

These tips are in order of importance and what we have found from our experience that make the biggest impact on you achieving your goals. Start with Step 1 before even considering Steps 2 or 3.

1) Food Quality
As Maria mentioned in her previous blog post, we advocate a 'Paleo' framework. While you can read all about our framework in her post, in short, this means cutting out the junk in your diet. Foods that are high in sugar, chemicals, additives and other nasties brought about by processing can wreak havoc on your body's hormonal system. Why does our hormonal system matter? It is what drives many (if not all) processes in the body, especially when it comes to controlling blood sugar, energy regulation and fat storage.

Combined with being one of the most effective methods for feeling awesome, crushing training and shedding some unwanted body fat, cleaning up your nutrition with a Paleo framework is the 'easiest' of our three points to implement. You don't have to stress too much about hitting specific calorie goals or macronutrient targets, just eat healthy-sized portions of whole, natural and real foods and cut out the junk. 

2) Daily Caloric Intake
Calories matter. If your goal is to gain weight/muscle you have to eat, a lot! This is usually a calorie number more than the calories you churn through in your day-to-day activities and training sessions. Conversely, if you want to lose weight/fat you need to eat less, and this generally has to be at a deficit of your maintenance level of calories. Be mindful that this must be a controlled increase/decrease in calories. Gorging on food and taking in too much will lead to 'bad' weight gain (read: fat), and a drastic calorie reduction will often lead to a stall in weight loss, poor performance in the gym and even metabolic dysfunction (read: bad news bears).

There is conflicting information out there regarding the importance of calories, but we know it is not as simple as 'calories in vs calories out'.

The human body is not a predictable machine and there are countless internal and external variables involved in how our bodies operate. This helps to explain why calories cannot be balanced like your bank account, and why people never seem to gain or lose weight precisely as calculated by calorie targets.

To further elaborate, let's say two people eat the exact same meal of 2 large slices of meat feast pizza with a mixed salad and washed back with a bottle of beer, followed by a slice of cheesecake. One is a 28 year old female who trains CrossFit 5 days a week CrossFit, has a body fat of 18% and eats 'clean' every day of the week (this meal is her 'cheat meal'). Our second person is a 55 year old male who is overweight, has a body fat of 30%, spends all day sat behind a desk, does little to no exercise and eats processed food every single day. These two individuals will process the same meal in two very different ways, despite it being the same number of calories and macronutrients.

Remember that food quality comes first (see point 1). It's pointless having a calorie target if you get 2500 daily calories from McDonalds, Haribo's and beer.

3) Macronutrient breakdown
This refers to the breakdown of your daily calories into grams of protein, carbohydrate and fat. Altering these numbers can have a large impact on body composition and performance.

Protein is commonly referred to as 'the building block of muscle'. Protein is used to rebuild and repair muscle tissue during stages of recovery and to keep our bodies functioning. You mostly hear people talking about how much protein they have, or how many shakes they can smash down. In reality most of us only need around 1 g per lb of bodyweight. Even if you want to gain muscle, more protein is not really going to make a difference.

Carbohydrates are the fuel for higher intensity activities, and its intake helps replenish tough workouts and also helps signal to cells to use ingested protein to build/repair muscle tissue. As such, some experts say that carbohydrates actually play a more important role in the muscle-building process than protein. If you do lots of high intensity training (like CrossFit), you need more carbohydrates than those who do low level activities (walking etc), but the exact number can differ from person to person depending on their size, activity levels, tolerance etc.

Our last macronutrient is fat. Every single cell in our bodies is partly composed of fat and they are involved in many of the processes in our body. Thus, fat is vital for proper health and function of our hormones. For most of us we need between 60-120g per day, again differing depending on size, goals, training etc.

There a few other factors which we do consider important when it comes to training for performance, or trying to reach body composition goals, such as 
- Meal and macronutrient timing
- Supplementation

But none of these compare to 'bang for buck' compared to eating clean, calorie intake and macronutrient breakdown.

So if you ever ask me about 'the best protein shake to have post-workout', I will reply by asking if you have our top 3 nutrition tips nailed down. If you don't have these nailed, you are throwing away your money on unnecessary supplements. These big 3 nutrition tips are going to get the majority of people closer to their performance and body composition goals.


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

CrossFit Open 13.1

As many reps in 17 mins as you can of:
40 Burpees
30 Snatches (35/20 kg)
30 Burpees
30 Snatches  (60/35 kg)
20 Burpees
30 Snatches (75/45 kg)
10 Burpees
AMRAP Snatch (95/55 kg)

Cool things for 2015!

Can you believe that January is just one month away?! 2014 has brought us loads of great things: new barbells, bumper plates, kettlebells and a wall timer, BroSesh Sundays, an awesome community, a new appreciation for dressing in layers for the early morning classes, and... oh yeah, the opening of CrossFit 1864! 2015 promises to be just as amazing, if not more so, and we are happy to announce a few exciting developments and events coming up in the New Year...

Be warned, this is a LOOOOONG blog post, but please read it to the very end!

Programming Update for 2015

In the New Year we will be improving our programming to better accomodate the needs of our growing community. Beginning in January, we will have two similar strands of programming:  "Fitness Focus" and "Skill Focus".

Fitness Focus programming is designed for all members with less than 6 months experience training at CrossFit 1864, as well as intermediate athletes who find the Fitness Focus workouts to be better in line with their needs and goals. 

Skill Focus workouts are designed for those who have developed a solid foundation of the functional movements over time and are now interested in pushing the boundaries of their performance and capacity within CrossFit.

Let's put this into some context... 

“Beth" is completely new to CrossFit and, aside from a few 10k runs and spinning classes, is pretty new to training in general. We would most likely recommend Beth start her training with our Fitness Focus programming. Similarly, veteran member "Jacob”, who is just coming back from a short term injury he received in a pick-up football game and who is also more interested in keeping up with his kids than training like CrossFit Games Champion Rich Froning, chooses to do the Fitness Focus programming as it relates better to his goals.

On the other hand, Beth's good friends, "Jack" and "Jill" (creative, eh?!) have been CrossFitting for just over a year. They both usually follow the Skills Focus programming as it provides more exposure to specific advanced movements during workouts (handstand push-ups, full snatches etc), and is appropriate for athletes like them who are close to Rx-ing or can Rx most workouts. However, sometimes Jack feels a little tired, so on these days, he will do the Fitness Focus workout. Likewise, Jill hasn't quite mastered her bar muscle ups yet, so if she sees a WOD with high rep bar muscle ups in the Skills Focus track, she will stick to Fitness Focus. Jack, Jill and Beth will all still get to do their WODs together regardless of whether they are doing Fitness or Skills Focus, they just might be doing slightly different movements. 

Make sense?

Of course, you won't fit neatly into either category in every way and we will not force you into one workout over another, but as your coaches we will help guide your decision. Having defined levels will allow you to decide which workout you want to do on any given day. Somedays you may feel up for the challenge of having overhead squats or muscle-ups in a workout, while other days you may just want to come in, feel like you smashed a workout and go home, without worrying about the nuances of the muscle up transition whilst trying to catch your breath from the 125 kg deadlifts and over the bar burpees.

With that being said, we won't always provide both a "Fitness Focus" and a "Skills Focus" option. Depending on the workout, often some simple scaling can be applied and work easily for all levels (for example, we lessen weights or suggest ring rows instead of pull ups, etc). Other times, it might be more appropriate to designate the levels, especially if we want to simplify the scaling options and include a very complex gymnastics or barbell movement. For example:

3 Rounds for Time of:

"Skills Focus"
Run 400m
5 Muscle-Ups
10 Deadlifts 125/90 kg

"Fitness Focus"
Run 400m
15 Burpees
10 Deadlifts

The burpees aren’t meant to develop the skill components that go into a muscle-up, but many people will not be able to perform a muscle-up (or have any desire to!) and won't get much out of doing an over-scaled version of one. Instead, by programming burpees for our Fitness Focus athletes, we preserve the metabolic stimulus that the workout demands, ensuring all our athletes get the results they want.

Speaking of results...

The Whole Life Challenge

Speaking to our members, we have noticed that many, if not ALL of you, have the same question.... how do I improve my nutrition / lose weight / gain muscle / look and feel better? To help you out with this question, CrossFit 1864 is excited to announce that we will be taking on The Whole Life Challenge (WLC) from 17 January!

What is it?

No one can explain it better than The Whole Life Challenge themselves.... from their website:

"While everyone wants to look and feel better, it can be a challenge to know how or where to start. The Whole Life Challenge focuses you on the key areas of your life that produce real, life-long changes. Taking on this challenge together with your friends and family in a fun and motivating daily game, you’ll create new healthy habits that last long after the Whole Life Challenge comes to an end."

"The Whole Life Challenge works by identifying the areas that almost everyone wants to change, and then making a daily game out of creating new habits in each of those areas. The game is designed around the five key areas that every person can identify with."

With its three levels of participation – Performance, Lifestyle, and Kick-start – any one can find a way to make the The Whole Life Challenge work for them and see massive improvements in their health and fitness.

What happens during the Challenge?

The WLC is a points-based challenge. Every day you follow the WLC rules, you earn points....

  • Eat by the WLC guidelines you choose at the level that is right for you. Earn up to 5 points daily for nutrition.
  • Exercise for at least 10 minutes each day. We recommend 3-5 “workouts” each week. On days you're not at the box, you can earn your points by simply being active. Play with your kids, catch up with your friends in the park for a game of touch rugby, go for a walk by the river with a loved one, ride your bike, hike, dance around your flat like a crazy person (this is what Coach Maria plans to do...) whatever gets you moving! You earn 2 points for exercise.
  • Mobilise for at least 10 minutes each day. You earn 2 points for mobility work. Handy that we send out mobility homework for you, right?!
  • Drink water. You will need to drink one third of your body weight in oz. of water each day (20 ml per kg). You earn 1 point for water.
  • Supplement with a dietary supplement that would make a difference for your body if you took it every day. You earn one point for your supplement.
  • Participate in the WLC weekly lifestyle practice – things like sleep, introspective thought, & supporting others. You earn 1 point each day you complete the weekly lifestyle task.
  • Reflect at the end of each day and check in with how it went and how you’re doing. Just like you can look back at your training progress on Beyond the Whiteboard, your daily reflection helps you see how the challenge is really going. You earn 1 point daily for your reflection.

We will begin the challenge with a baseline workout to establish where you are and we also recommend that you take a 'Before' snapshot of yourself and take any measurements that you would like to keep track of, such as body weight, body fat percentage, girth measurements, etc.  At the end of the Challenge, we will repeat the baseline workout and encourage you to re-take your measurements and take an 'After' photo to see how far you've come in 8 weeks!

How do I do it?

With the help of everyone else, obvs! When you sign up for The Whole Life Challenge, you will join Team CrossFit 1864 and benefit from all the support our awesome community has to offer. 

When is it? and how do I sign-up?

  • The Challenge starts 17 January 2015 and runs for 56 days (8 weeks). Perfect after the holiday indulgences!
  • Sign up as part of Team CrossFit 1864 by registering using this link.
  • If you register before 31 December, you are eligible for the discounted price of $39 (approx £23)
  • Anybody can do this. So get your friends, family members and work colleagues to sign-up, they too can be part of Team CrossFit 1864!

We will be sending out more information about how the Challenge will run, when we will do a baseline workout, take measurements and update you with all the wicked stuff we will put on during the challenge, but in the meantime, you can check out the Whole Life Challenge website and get all the information there. Don't forget, when you sign up, be sure to register as part of Team CrossFit 1864 HERE.

Regularly Learn and Play New Sports Day

The fitness we develop at the box helps us to take on challenges that we might have never thought possible. Applying our strength and skill to new sports forms part of CrossFit's 'functional fitness’ model, as well as helping you to lead a happy and rewarding life.

Explosive strength, agility, balance, coordination, power... sound like your last CrossFit session? Close, but not quite! We'll be using all of these skills for our first 'Regularly Learn and Play New Sports' Day in January when we learn Parkour with our good friends, Parkour Generations! Led by the lovely Shirley Darlington, this is a great opportunity to not only test your fitness, but also to spend a fun day out learning something new with a great group of people. Specific details to follow soon, but mark your calendars now for Sunday 18 January! 

Questions and Feedback

Have feedback, questions or concerns about these changes? Or simply want to comment on our amazing sense of humour and quality photography skills? E-mail Maria (maria@crossfit1864.com). We want to know what you think!

'Helen' is Coach Maria's all-time favourite benchmark WOD!

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Gymnastics skills: Pull-ups & Kipping

B) "Helen"

3 rounds for time:
Run 400m
21 Kettlebell swings 24/16 kg
12 Pull-ups (Scale: Ring rows)

Who knew we could cram SO MUCH STUFF into one blog post?!

20 Nov 2014 - Sex, sleep & supplements

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It's time to open Pandora's box (make whatever witty comments you like given the title of the blog) and take a look at a few different types of supplements...


The Best Supplements for Better Sleep

ZMA: This is a blend of the essential minerals, Zinc and Magnesium with the goal of supporting recovery from exercise via improving the quality of your sleep. Zinc is thought to play a role in the regulation of normal DNA synthesis, cognitive (brain) function, normal fertility & reproduction along with the metabolism of macronutrients and synthesis of new proteins.

Magnesium is essential for the maintenance of electrolyte balance, healthy metabolism, functioning of the nervous system, cell division and protein synthesis. 

Studies have shown that supplementing with ZMA can help the body achieve deeper levels of REM sleep – the stage of sleep where all the magic happens! So the more/better quality REM sleep we can get, the better. (Read our previous blog on why you need to get better sleep, and more of it...)

Taurine: This is an amino acid that is thought to have several benefits: Lowering blood pressure, fighting inflammation, detoxifying the organs and protecting the heart. In some circles, Taurine is known as the amino acid of anxiety control and stress management as it helps lower the stress hormone, Cortisol. Taurine also elevates levels of GABA which is a chemical neurotransmitter that has soothing effects on the nervous system, hence its helpful effects on improving sleep.


The Best Supplements for Recovery

Sleep: Ok, so not a supplement, but better sleep improves your recovery and your ability to keep crushing it at the gym.

Fish oil: The list of potential benefits for taking regular doses of fish oil are endless: body composition, insulin sensitivity, cognitive function, fat oxidation, cardiovascular health, etc.

With regards to recovery, fish oil has been shown to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a natural response that happens in response to a stressor on the body. Exercise is a stressor, but it is an acute (short-term) stressor that can be healthy as we adapt to it. Fish oil has been shown to reduce this inflammation which helps speed up our recovery and adaption from exercise.

A good fish oil supplement has a good EPA:DHA (fatty acid) profile. You can read all about that here if you like, but we recommend PurePharma's 03, or Genetic Supplements Fish Oil.

Protein: Protein is the building block of our muscles. During training, we break down these tissues through the stress of strenuous activity, so having a post-wod shake can help speed the process along.

Most protein shakes these days have a variety of other ingredients designed to reduce stress hormones, decrease inflammation, etc etc. It can be a minefield to know what to choose.

We have tried many a products in our time, and we stand behind Genetic Supplements Matrix Recover.


Best Supplements for Sex (what you were REALLY reading this blog to find out...)

Exercise: A good sex life and a strong sex drive has been linked on hundreds of occasions to fitness levels. Not only are our bodies 'fitter' and 'healthier' so everything is working as it should, but we feel more confident about ourselves and we appeal more to potential partners...thus increasing the likelihood of getting some!

Remove household toxins: There are various forms of harmful toxins that haunt our homes and can be putting a damper on testosterone production. From household cleaning detergents to pesky moulds.

Healthy fats: Our body is made up of a huge portion of (good) fats, every single cell in your body has a fatty phospholipid layer, this includes the sex cells. Healthy fats are also thought to boost production of sex hormones like testosterone.

These healthy fats include olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts/seeds and fish oils.


All the above supplements are great and we use them all from time to time, but is there something else we can use? An 'all-in-one' perhaps? Funny you should ask...

The Best All-in-One Supplement to help you get leaner, stronger, fitter, recover faster and stay healthy and happy for the rest of your life.

Yes a long title for this supplement, but we feel one as such as this deserves a title of great length....

Our secret supplement is this: Optimal Nutrition.

I can almost hear your sighs of dismay now. If only there were a magical pill that would make everything right with the world. There's not. Sorry to disappoint you.

If you have an optimal diet, one that fits your needs and your lifestyle, you won't need to spend an extra penny on numerous supplements. You can get all the protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals from your daily chow. (Read our thoughts on nutrition here and also here).

"Failing to plan is planning to fail". If you do not address your nutrition, then you are doing yourself a disservice. If you want to back up all the hard work in the gym and get the results you want and, most importantly, live a long and happy life, you need to eat to reflect that.

It's that simple.


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

Run 500m
50 Over the tyre jumps
50 Deadlifts 60/40kg
50 Wall balls 9/6kg
50 Ring dips
50 Wall balls
50 Deadlifts 
50 Over the tyre jumps
Run 500m
(Time cap: 22 minutes)

12 Nov 2014 - Nutrition + Training = Awesomeness!

We all bust our humps in the gym, but no matter how hard you train if your nutrition does not reflect your goals then your efforts are potentially being wasted.

Various studies have shown that a good nutrition program (with no training regime) has more benefits than training (with no nutrition regime). Simply put, you cannot 'out-train' a bad diet. The same research also highlights that a good nutrition program matched with a good training program will produce results superior to either aspect on its own. 

At CrossFit 1864 we take nutrition seriously.  It shares the same importance as training itself, which is why we offer tailored nutrition programming. We approach nutrition with several ideas in mind:

Individualised: We are all unique with our own backgrounds, physiologies, goals and aspirations. As such, we all need some level of individualisation in our nutrition.

Lifestyle: We do not prescribe diets, we help you create a lifestyle. Nutrition has to be something that is sustainable and fits easily into your daily life. If this doesn't happen, you won't enjoy it and chances are you will give up quickly. 

Education: Whilst we are here to guide you through your training and nutrition we also endeavour to ensure you learn how to take control of your own nutrition. This way, when we cannot be there to help you, you will already have all the tools and knowledge you need to make the right decisions. 

Simplicity: We keep our nutrition programs simple, starting with solid foundations and building from there. Whilst we introduce you to a few key rules, we don't have a long list of do's and dont's.

So how should you begin to take control of your nutrition?

Get the data: The first thing to do is track your eating over at least a one week period. Write down EVERYTHING that passes your lips along with the time of day, and be honest. Otherwise, you are just cheating yourself.

Look at the data!: When looking back over the food diary, it should be pretty easy to identify some areas for improvement. Try asking yourself the following questions:

- Am I eating a balanced meal everytime I eat?

- Are my meals evenly spaced throughout the day?

- Am I getting enough variety in my foods?

- Am I actually eating more sugary foods than I thought?

- When do I tend to get the munchies?

...and so on. If you spot any potential issues then it's time to make some adjustments

Start basic: When we teach you a muscle-up, where do we start? We don't go straight for the main showpiece, we first look at your basic movement patterns and progress you through a series of progressions.  Our approach to nutrition is the same! We start with making sure our clients have the basics down first (balanced meals, good sources of protein/carbohydrates/fats etc), then we begin to layer on the more complex areas later when they are ready for it.

Knowing how to move forward with your nutrition so it matches your training goals can be tricky, and that's where we can help!

Below is an example from Sarah Hilton, one of the first folks on our nutrition programming...

"I went to Maria and Phil for nutrition programming as I had found that while I had my weight under control, I had plateaued somewhat with my training and performance.

My goal with them was to improve my CrossFit performance, and increase lean mass as opposed to just losing weight as I had done before.

The process was clear and straightforward, I kept a food diary for two weeks, and while I think I eat pretty well, Maria was able to pinpoint a couple of areas I could improve straight away, such as introducing more variety to my recipes, less fruit, more veg. I put these changes in place with Maria's support, and have been thrilled with my results in a short space of time. I'm typically having up to 500 more calories a day than I was, I'm enjoying food more. 

I've changed my body composition positively, and actually lost some weight too which I wasn't expecting. Best of all I'm experiencing a great period of strength gains and performing better than I ever have before at CrossFit. I would recommend their approach to everyone, not just because the results are evident, but they are friendly and easy to work with too."

Sarah's results (below) are just 4 weeks into her nutrition program! Just from introducing some basic concepts she's already smashing her way to her targets. 

If you are interested in finding out more or getting started with our nutrition programming just email us at info@crossfit1864.com

Workout of the day

A) Gymnastic skills: Handstand Push-Ups (HSPU)

B) 15 minute AMRAP:

4 HSPU

8 Tyre jump 

12 Front rack lunge 60/40kg