30 Rules To Lift Like A Girl…..

30 Rules To Lift Like A Girl & Look Absolutely Awesome
by Nia Shanks | Follow her on Twitter here

A couple weeks ago, I came across an awesome article – 30 Rules to Lift Like a Man. It was a terrific list of training and nutrition “rules”, and I commented that women should follow the majority of them, too.

Because I strongly believe women should proudly Lift Like a Girl, I decided to create a list of my own, and by applying these “rules”, you’ll end up looking absolutely awesome.

Without further ado, I present to you – 30 Rules to Lift Like a Girl & Look Absolutely Awesome.

BOOM!

1. Lift Heavy Stuff. Ladies, if you want to look awesome, then you must lift heavy. What exactly do I mean by “heavy”? Ideally it’s a weight that is challenging for 3-10 reps (you can go higher with lower body exercises once you’ve attained a good level of strength). You should have to focus, and work hard, to complete your set on compound exercises like squats, push-ups, deadlifts, rows, presses, chin-ups, lunges, etc.

Also, this serves as a good rule of thumb.

Bottom line – pick up something heavy, put it back down, and repeat. Very good things will happen to physically, and mentally.

2. If You’re Gonna do Conditioning, do Real Conditioning. Bobbing up and down on an elliptical machine for half an hour is not what I consider real cardio/conditioning work. Instead, run some hill sprints, pull or push a sled, jump rope, or do kettebell swings.

This type of conditioning isn’t mandatory for fat loss or improved performance, so you may opt for walking or hiking instead, which is totally acceptable.

3. Stop Thinking about Fat Loss; Train for Performance. I’ve discussed in Letting Go of the Fat Loss Mindset why women can benefit from not focusing on fat loss, even if that’s the goal they want to achieve.

Forget about burning calories or working yourself into a useless puddle of sweat with each workout. Make it a goal to do a little better than the last time you performed that workout.

Do not train for fatigue and utter exhaustion – train for performance.

If your main goal is losing fat, be sure to check out The 10 Commandments for Simple Fat Loss.

4. Squat. I don’t care which squat variation you choose – front, back, safety bar, goblet – as long as you’re squatting in some form.

5. Deadlift. Just like with squats, I don’t care which deadlift variation you choose – RDL, single leg, conventional, trap bar, sumo, rack pull – you should be pulling some heavy weight off the floor.

6. Dominate your Bodyweight. Push-ups and inverted rows are a great place to start. If you can’t perform 10 perfect push-ups or a single bodyweight chin-up, set up your training so you can achieve those goals. You can also have the goal of performing other bodyweight exercises like pistols, handstand push-ups, and other awesome bodyweight-only exercises.

If it seems like you’re a long way from performing even a single traditional push-up, don’t be discouraged. We’ve all been a strength training beginner before. You’ve gotta start from the beginning.

7. Be the Best You Possible. Forget about trying to look like the latest model on the cover of a magazine, or even your favorite athlete. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Focus on becoming the best you possible and highlighting your unique features and abilities.

It may take a little time to discover your natural strengths, but it’s well worth it.

8. You’re Never Too Good for the Basics. Some people search constantly for “unique” workouts or exercises. They think there’s some magical new exercise that will help them achieve their goals and that the basics will no longer work for them.

This is a huge mistake. No matter your training experience level, you’re never too good, or too advanced, for the basics like squats, deadlifts, push-ups, chin-ups, and other compound exercises.

9. Work That Booty. Squats, deadlifts, and lunges have always been staples in my training and my clients’ programs. But sometimes, they’re not enough to produce the results women crave in the booty-department. This is when glute bridges and hip thrusts can play a huge role in helping you achieve booty-liciousness.

10. Get Off the Scale. Your self-worth and results from eating right and training hard are not accurately reflected by the number you see on the scale. Click that link for more information.

11. Don’t Whine or Complain. Everyone had to start from the beginning and learn how to properly perform basic exercises, and so do you. Get in the gym and take action.

I don’t care if you can “only squat 45 pounds.” That’s your starting point. Accept it. Own it. Improve upon it.

12. Don’t overdo the “Core” Work. Every woman wants a flat stomach; but, endless sets of leg raises, crunches, or any other ab exercise isn’t the way to get there. Sure, a few sets of direct abdominal work is fine, but don’t put too much emphasis on it. You’re better off working hard at big, compound exercises and improving your performance.

13. Enjoy the Journey. If you dread your training sessions, then something is wrong. Find a way to make the journey enjoyable.

This can be accomplished by setting training goals that get you excited. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

14. Don’t Rely on Curls and Extensions for Sexy Arms. So you want a nice pair of arms? Then make it a point to bust out perfect sets of push-ups or parallel bar dips and inverted rows and chin-ups. Those exercises will do the trick, and will make the rest of your upper body look absolutely awesome in the process.

15. Don’t be Afraid to get Strong. Most women think lifting anything heavier than their purse (see pic at the top) will make them big ‘n bulky, and even more so a loaded barbell. Ladies, don’t be afraid to get strong. Busting out sets of parallel bar dips, squatting your bodyweight for reps, and deadlifting twice your bodyweight will not make you big ‘n bulky.

It will, however, make you more confident in the gym and your everyday life. Plus, it’s the best way to build that lean, athletic look you so desire. If you’re interested in lifting heavy singles, doubles, and triples for the first time, click on that link for more information that will allow you to do so safely.

16. Eat Food. Eat Real Food. For the majority of your meals (I’d say at least 90%) eat real food. You know, things that you could hunt, grow, and find in nature (wild caught fish, grass-fed beef, fruits and veggies, etc). Oftentimes this single tip helps people shed fat easily.

17. Eat Your Protein. I’m a fan of eating around 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. Protein helps you feel fuller longer, and aids in muscle tissue repair.

My awesome, delicious, high protein cheesecake bowl

18. Embrace the Power of Rows. Numerous women wear high heeled shoes frequently, suffer from poor posture (anterior pelvic tilt, forward head posture, kyphosis), and/or sit most of the day. This is a recipe for not only terrible posture, but aches and pains.

You can’t do too many rows, in my opinion. Make sure rowing variations — cable row, one arm dumbbell, inverted, and other variations — are a staple in your training programs. While it won’t fix the issue completely, it can help. (It would behoove you to be diligent about correcting your posture throughout the day as well).

19. Don’t be Afraid to Train Alone. I stole this one, word for word, from the 30 Rules to Lift Like a Man article mentioned at the top of this page. Women, in my opinion, can be the worst about training alone.

Oftentimes women won’t brave the gym, especially the weight room, if they’re solo. Ladies, if you’re intimidated to weight train alone, it’s time to woman-up. Forget about what other people think or how many men you’ll be surrounded by.

Chances are, if you follow all of the rules in this list, you’ll be out-lifting most of them in a few months. Get back there and proclaim your spot in the weight room and show everyone what it means to Lift Like a Girl.

20. Some Days You won’t Feel like Training. Suck It up, Sister. You’re gonna have days where you don’t want to go to the gym. Maybe you had a long day, or you just “don’t feel like” training.

Unless you’re sick or truly need a break from lifting (and this does happen), do yourself a favor and get in the gym. Go through your normal warm-up. More often than not, you’ll feel great and will end up having an awesome training session. Many times these training sessions can lead to PRs (personal records).

21. Adopt Eating Habits that Work for You. Maybe you want to try a method of intermittent fasting. Maybe you just want to listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry. From experience with myself and my clients, it doesn’t so much matter when and how you eat, as long as you’re making smart food choices. Plus, you’ll obtain much better results and have a lot less stress if you adopt eating habits that fit into your lifestyle.

22. Earn Your Isolation Exercises. So you want to really bring out your deltoids or improve your arms? Great. That’s fine. But, you need to earn those isolation exercises by working hard on the big, compound movements that provide more “bang for your training buck”. For example, if you want great shoulders, you should work really hard at overhead presses, first and foremost. Once you get strong on that exercise, then feel free to add in a few sets of lateral raises.

Don’t perform endless sets of isolation exercises at the expense of the compound movements that provide the majority of the results.

23. Don’t Overdo Cardio. This is a huge mistake a lot of women make. Usually, whenever a woman decides it’s time to lose some fat or improve her physical appearance, she starts a rigorous cardio regimen. Day in, and day out, she spends hours doing cardio. The vast majority of your success relies upon nutrition compliance and getting strong in the weight room on the basic exercises. Nutrition and progressive strength training are the most important factors for building an awesome body, not cardio.

If that wasn’t the truth, I wouldn’t be saying it. And, my clients wouldn’t keep hiring me.

24. Set Motivating, Performance Oriented Goals. Most women workout to lose fat, and that’s all they think about. Not you. You Lift Like a Girl. That means focusing on performance goals like performing push-ups, achieving your first bodyweight chin-up, or deadlifting 1.5 times your bodyweight.

Let the other women track the calories burned on the elliptical machine. You’ll be too busy in the weight room training your way toward goals like squatting your bodyweight for 10 reps.

25. If You Can’t get to the Gym, use Bodyweight Workouts. You don’t need a gym to train hard and build a body you’re proud of – strong, lean, healthy, and athletic. If you can’t get to the gym, or you’re traveling, you should be doing bodyweight workouts.

No excuses!

26. Challenge Yourself and see What You’re Capable of Doing. Don’t be afraid of taking on new challenges, like learning kettebell exercises, or the Olympic lifts. Perhaps you want to compete in a powerlifting meet.

Take a chance and see what you’re truly capable of doing. You just may surprise yourself and find a new hobby in the process.

27. Train around Your Injuries. This is another one I took directly from the 30 rules to Lift Like a Man article referenced at the beginning. Even if you have an injury, that’s no excuse to stop training entirely. Maybe you have a bum shoulder, or elbow. You can still find ways to train your lower body with intensity and enthusiasm.

Likewise, if you have a lower body injury, you can still train your upper body. The circumstances will not always be ideal, but you can’t make excuses. Train what you can with persistence and determination.

28. Realize that Success Leaves Clues. It baffles me when women compliment my physique, and when I tell them how I built it (heavy, compound exercises and very little cardio) they exclaim, “Oh, I can’t do that. I don’t want to get big and bulky!” Well, if you like how I look, and how other women look who engage in heavy weight lifting look, why do you think you’re an exception and will mysteriously end up “big ‘n bulky”?

If you want to look like a marathon runner, train like one. If you want to look like a strong woman who can lift heavy, dominate her bodyweight, and face any physical challenge presented to her, then train that way.

29. Have the Right Plan of Attack. Having concrete goals like being able to deadlift 1.5 times your bodyweight is awesome. However, if you don’t have a solid plan to get there, you’ll end up frustrated. If you don’t know how to set up your training properly, seek an expert or resources that will help you. Your training must match the goals you’re trying to achieve.

30. Don’t Stop. Don’t. Ever. Stop. Weight lifting should be a lifelong journey, not a short-term solution. Sure, you may start working out because you’re only concern is looking better, but find a way to make training a passion.

Sign up for the exclusive Beautiful Badass Mini-Course to discover the sane and simple way to build a better body. You’ll also receive insider only information. Just enter your email below and click “Get It Now!”

Why Sign Up For the Open…

Why sign up for the Open?

As of press time, 13.4 has been revealed and my guess is; most of you have completed the WOD. You are probably asking yourself “Why did I even sign up for this? I’m not going to the games; I’m not going to be on the team.” I was asking myself those same questions last year.

First of all, everyone who signed up contributed to the success of CrossFit Meridian. CFM was 1 individual short of being the largest NorthWest box to participate, let me repeat that, 1 individual. That in itself is a huge accomplishment. Your participation did make a difference, everyone counted. With more boxes coming into the Boise area, WE – repeat – WE are getting stronger and better every day. Mike Baldwin and Neil Stoner are bringing new members and the atmosphere in the box is awesome. Groups of work-out partners are forming and creating that competitive edge that makes CrossFit so great.
Next item on the agenda, you are going to do the WOD’s, why not sign up? You have a class and peeps you WOD with. Why not sign up and see how you stack up with CrossFitters all over the world? I have friends that CrossFit in other parts of the country. It’s really fun to smoke them in these WOD’s. The programming Rick and Shawna prepare for us is truly world class and it shows with all of our results.

Third, use the Open to expose your weaknesses. Use it as motivation to get better by attacking them! CFM has the resources to make you better. Utilize the coaches, ask the people around the box for advice, take the Saturday morning Oly class, take my Endurance running clinic (selfless plug), stay 10 minutes longer and work on your weaknesses (muscle ups), get a foam roller and work out the kinks in front of your TV. Set goals and make it happen.

My goals are:

GET STRONGER!
Improve Olympic Lifts technique
Run sub 20 min 5k
Sneak into the top 10 at CFM. (Coming for you WODfather)
Point number four, really more of an observation than a point. As a judge, I have had the opportunity to meet other members and be in the box at different times of the day. The effort and enthusiasm people are putting into this has been incredible. Our athletes are really stepping out of their comfort zone and going max effort, crushing it! It has motivated me to go harder.

Finally, we have one more week to go and CFM is in position to send a team to the games. Congrats goes out to our athletes as well as Rick and Shawna. I wish them all the success in Kent and glad to be able to WOD side-by-side with these guys and gals on Saturday mornings. Again, use this year as a tool to identify and attack your weaknesses. If you didn’t sign-up make sure you do next year! Good luck in your final week and look out 14.1! – Endurance Coach Aaron Mann

Voodoo Floss….

voodoo-h1_2   Have you seen these bands in the gym?

Voodoo Floss helps break up intramuscular junk to allow for greater mobility and blood supply to an        area. By squeezing the muscle in a tight wrap then forcing it through range-of-motion, friction between muscle fibers helps break up fuzz, scar tissue, lactic acid and other junk in those tiny places that foam rolling and lacrosse ball techniques can’t address.

Healing & Cleansing Power
When you release the band, a rush of blood washes through the muscle not only bringing it nutrients for growth and healing but also clearing out all that junk you just broke up. This is also true for injury recovery and can be used to aid the healing of strained tissue.

Stretching Those Hard to Stretch Places
To work elbows and knees and the little pieces within, wrap one band above and below the joint then do some squats or push-ups. When you put the joint through ROM with bands anchored on either side, they stretch everything in between which can greatly improve not only joint ROM but also relieve pain, stiffness and tendonitis.

Good to Go vs. Probably a No No
Good: shoulders, arms, elbows, wrists, hands, thighs/hamstrings, calf, ankle, foot
No No: head, face, neck, chest, torso, abdomen, back, over knee cap

Test and retest the ROM and/or do one side and compare it to the other the first few times you Voodoo so you can see what a difference it makes. After you’re a pro, you can wrap more than one body part at a time and come up with your own movements and motions with them depending on your needs and what feels like it works best for you.
For more information about Voodoo Floss, check out MobilityWOD and hear the master of the floss himself describe and demonstrate its many benefits.
-content via CrossFit Invictus

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness for CrossFit….

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness for Crossfit
Eat to Perform
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FEB

This is part of the information I teach in the “Science Lab” seminars that we offer free when you purchase things that support our site (it’s mostly stuff you would buy anyway). Click the link and it will give you more details.

DOMS is delayed onset muscle soreness, much smarter people than me have absolutely no clue on how to prevent it but there are various ideas that seem to work for me. I am rarely sore.

I am not a marvel but I have priorities others don’t have. If I Rx a WOD that looks to be difficult I know that dramatically affects my training schedule for the next few days. People consistently give me noise about some of my modifications because they are of the opinion that if I can do a lift I should destroy myself like they are doing. To be honest I don’t care what others do, are they going to be doing speed work with 315 pound deadlifts the next day? Because I might be. So that is one of the answers, when you push your abilities too far you could end up with DOMS. Does that mean I never Rx a WOD, of course not, I would say I Rx at least 75% of the WODs but scaling down isn’t the only way to Modify your workouts. For instance, let’s say that a WOD looks particularly tough, you look at the top athletes on the board and you know you aren’t going to get there. I would say 75% of the time this is the gauge I use when modifying a workout. So that is one trick, how could you modify the workout to be closer to the times of the top athletes in your gym.

Which brings me to a point I have been wanting to make for some time. Do you guys think these workouts are designed by some meathead genius who has calculated the exact abilities of every person in the gym and then plugged it into an a precise algorithm which correctly corresponds to said abilities. That ain’t how it works. It’s much less scientific than that. That isn’t a criticism of Crossfit either, that is a criticism of 3 x 5 plans 5 x 5 plans, these were all designed to fit broad populations with some consideration of the science. Sometimes not even that.

So modifying to more correctly account for your abilities is a great way to avoid DOMS. Does that mean you never push yourself? Of course not. I can say however that pushing yourself beyond your abilities will be more likely to end with you hurt and sore. I’ll talk more about this below.

The bar needs to move fast

Your trainers are human beings, human beings trying to work with a lot of people all at once. So you need to take the reigns and if there is any one thing I have learned over the last year as I have gotten a lot stronger is that slower is worse. A lot worse because it could end up with you being more sore as a result. For me that changes my workout routine and recovery and I like both.

Also your cardio or VO2max is a factor. Let’s say you are moving the bar fast but have to constantly stop because you are reaching muscle failure, is that making you better or worse? I’m cool with you having the opinion that it makes you better but you are going to have to tell that to the people that like your blog and your page. The story I am running with is that it makes you worse. Not only does it make you worse but the amount of oxygen you can efficiently get into your muscles and your time to recover from a raised heart rate seem to have an effect as well. So if you find yourself panting on the floor for 20 minutes while others are walking around easily, guess who is and who isn’t going to be sore tomorrow? It’s not 100% certainty but the odds favor the recovered athlete. Also guess who won’t have to take an impromptu rest day?

Also the sore athlete did not get the better workout, I’m not even going to entertain that idea. You don’t have to kill yourself to improve.

Can food make a difference?

Like we say up here in the tundra “You Betcha”. One angle that is often brought up in research is that of inflammation, not the kind that stores ends up as body fat but the kind that causes your muscles to re-configure. Let me just stop here, I am trying to write an article to help people, I researched this article through pubmed articles and I read what other folks have written and I am trying to explain that combined with my experience. Frankly, none of the science was particularly helpful and virtually every article said avoid NSAID’s (things like ibuprofen).

But the question is still out there why is it I rarely get sore? That answer is pretty simple.

Not only do I eat enough to support my activity but I eat in a way that actually does not inhibit my human growth hormone pulses. I delay breakfast and workout fasted, you could make an argument for BCAA’s before and possibly after and if you are constantly sore I would certainly do that. When most people think of human growth hormone they think of it like anabolic steroids, like it’s the thing that makes your muscles bigger. So then why did Lance Armstrong do it, he isn’t jacked? HGH essentially heals your body, so if you want to be less sore there are two things that could really help as it relates to how you eat. Delay breakfast and workout fasted in the early AM and go to sleep full with some carbs in your belly. Carbs make you sleepy and you sleep deeper. This is favorable as it relates to HGH pulses and higher levels overall. Using this as a strategy seems favorable as it relates to healing, are there other ways, probably, this is just the one I know best and have seen many people use it well.

This is pure conjecture but I am going to do it anyway. Getting adequate protein is obviously important as it relates to recovery. One of the symptoms of DOMS is inflamed muscles that need to be healed. Being chronically underfed and eating very low carbs is not favorable as it relates to this situation (this is my opinion based on my experiences). Even if you are eating adequate or slightly more protein that protein is basically going to get turned into sugar in the form of glucose through a process called glucongenesis. That was the protein you needed to heal your muscles. I’m not suggesting you need crazy carbs but at least enough to support your brain function (the brain uses up to 100g of carbs to function, it’s why when you have a lot of thinking to do and you eat some carbs your headache goes away).

The negative in your workouts

The negative part of your workouts in your deadlift as an example is the part where you are putting the bar down. On an overhead press this is where the weight is coming down. It is referred to as the eccentric phase of the lift. All of the scientific data is very clear that this is a big culprit. So the argument could be made to just drop your deadlift but that won’t be the argument I will be making. STOP LIFTING TOO HEAVY IN WODS! I should be more specific because there are WOD’s that are designed with rest intervals that are meant for you to go heavy. So I will clarify by saying that if the WOD has 5 or more reps scale accurately for your ability to allow for an easier eccentric phase of the lift. We all know this though, right? One of the hardest parts of the deadlift or overhead press (these are just the examples I have used but let’s be clear I am talking about the eccentric phase of ALL lifts) is putting the bar back down or catching it into your chest.

But won’t that make me weaker? It’s possible but unlikely, for most people it increases their work volume and allows them to build better more explosive muscle, or fast twitch muscle. This would seem favorable as it relates to DOMS but I am not going to spend three mores hours researching that part. That part seems logical to me. Folks when you are lifting heaving and close to your 1RM in WODs with multiple reps that is likely one of the bigger culprits. The way people get stronger is by lifting with good form explosively. Lifting at 80 or 90% in WODs slowly and with bad form will leave you with constant DOMS and you won’t be able to work out as much.

Lastly DOMS hurts your range of motion (ROM). So working out in pain keeps us broken.

It’s the Sugar Folks….

MARK BITTMAN February 27, 2013, 9:47 pm 827 Comments
It’s the Sugar, Folks
By MARK BITTMAN

Mark Bittman on food and all things related.
TAGS:

DIABETES, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, OBESITY, SUGAR, WEIGHT
Sugar is indeed toxic. It may not be the only problem with the Standard American Diet, but it’s fast becoming clear that it’s the major one.

A study published in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal PLoS One links increased consumption of sugar with increased rates of diabetes by examining the data on sugar availability and the rate of diabetes in 175 countries over the past decade. And after accounting for many other factors, the researchers found that increased sugar in a population’s food supply was linked to higher diabetes rates independent of rates of obesity.

In other words, according to this study, it’s not just obesity that can cause diabetes: sugar can cause it, too, irrespective of obesity. And obesity does not always lead to diabetes.

The study demonstrates this with the same level of confidence that linked cigarettes and lung cancer in the 1960s. As Rob Lustig, one of the study’s authors and a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, said to me, “You could not enact a real-world study that would be more conclusive than this one.”

The study controlled for poverty, urbanization, aging, obesity and physical activity. It controlled for other foods and total calories. In short, it controlled for everything controllable, and it satisfied the longstanding “Bradford Hill” criteria for what’s called medical inference of causation by linking dose (the more sugar that’s available, the more occurrences of diabetes); duration (if sugar is available longer, the prevalence of diabetes increases); directionality (not only does diabetes increase with more sugar, it decreases with less sugar); and precedence (diabetics don’t start consuming more sugar; people who consume more sugar are more likely to become diabetics).

The key point in the article is this: “Each 150 kilocalories/person/day increase in total calorie availability related to a 0.1 percent rise in diabetes prevalence (not significant), whereas a 150 kilocalories/person/day rise in sugar availability (one 12-ounce can of soft drink) was associated with a 1.1 percent rise in diabetes prevalence.” Thus: for every 12 ounces of sugar-sweetened beverage introduced per person per day into a country’s food system, the rate of diabetes goes up 1 percent. (The study found no significant difference in results between those countries that rely more heavily on high-fructose corn syrup and those that rely primarily on cane sugar.)

This is as good (or bad) as it gets, the closest thing to causation and a smoking gun that we will see. (To prove “scientific” causality you’d have to completely control the diets of thousands of people for decades. It’s as technically impossible as “proving” climate change or football-related head injuries or, for that matter, tobacco-caused cancers.) And just as tobacco companies fought, ignored, lied and obfuscated in the ’60s (and, indeed, through the ’90s), the pushers of sugar will do the same now.

But as Lustig says, “This study is proof enough that sugar is toxic. Now it’s time to do something about it.”

The next steps are obvious, logical, clear and up to the Food and Drug Administration. To fulfill its mission, the agency must respond to this information by re-evaluating the toxicity of sugar, arriving at a daily value — how much added sugar is safe? — and ideally removing fructose (the “sweet” molecule in sugar that causes the damage) from the “generally recognized as safe” list, because that’s what gives the industry license to contaminate our food supply.

On another front, two weeks ago a coalition of scientists and health advocates led by the Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the F.D.A. to both set safe limits for sugar consumption and acknowledge that added sugars, rather than lingering on the “safe” list, should be declared unsafe at the levels at which they’re typically consumed. (The F.D.A. has not yet responded to the petition.)

Allow me to summarize a couple of things that the PLoS One study clarifies. Perhaps most important, as a number of scientists have been insisting in recent years, all calories are not created equal. By definition, all calories give off the same amount of energy when burned, but your body treats sugar calories differently, and that difference is damaging.

And as Lustig lucidly wrote in “Fat Chance,” his compelling 2012 book that looked at the causes of our diet-induced health crisis, it’s become clear that obesity itself is not the cause of our dramatic upswing in chronic disease. Rather, it’s metabolic syndrome, which can strike those of “normal” weight as well as those who are obese. Metabolic syndrome is a result of insulin resistance, which appears to be a direct result of consumption of added sugars. This explains why there’s little argument from scientific quarters about the “obesity won’t kill you” studies; technically, they’re correct, because obesity is a marker for metabolic syndrome, not a cause.

The take-away: it isn’t simply overeating that can make you sick; it’s overeating sugar. We finally have the proof we need for a verdict: sugar is toxic.

The Growth of CrossFit….

crossfit-games-growth-individualYou know that CrossFit as a sport is growing extremely fast and you know the CrossFit Games are growing fast. But did you realize how fast? In 2011, the CrossFit Games Open debuted. More than 26,000 athletes signed up to compete. In 2012, 69,240 people signed up to compete in the Open. In 2013? 138,000 people registered to compete. That is a year over year growth rate of 166% and 99%, respectively, with women’s growth in participation outpacing men’s (129% to 109%).

Demonstrating CrossFit’s increasing popularity with older athletes, more than 20% of all participants (28,000 competitors) in 2013 are Masters, which includes the new 40-44 age group added for 2013. While each age group nearly doubled in participation between 2012 and 2013, the largest jumps came in Masters women 45-49 and 50-54 with 106% and 105% growth, respectively.

The raw participation data is below. Numbers may not add exactly due to tie scores among competitors.
73,429 Individual Men (35,108 in 2012)
7,208 Masters Men 40-44 (n/a in 2012)
3,254 Masters Men 45-49 (1,638 in 2012)
1,597 Masters Men 50-54 (847 in 2012)
797 Masters Men 55-59 (414 in 2012)
400 Masters Men 60+ (218 in 2012)
46,639 Individual Women (20,324 in 2012)
4,763 Masters Women 40-44 (n/a in 2012)
2,368 Masters Women 45-49 (1,150 in 2012)
1,098 Masters Women 50-54 (535 in 2012)
494 Masters Women 55-59 (278 in 2012)
263 Masters Women 60+ (145 in 2012)

For all your friends who may believe that CrossFit is merely a fad, wait until 2014 when they find themselves part of another year of exponential growth.

-via How Fast Are the CrossFit Games Growing? The Numbers Tell the Story

Some Truths About CrossFit and Weightlifting…

Some Truths About CrossFit and Weightlifting
Posted on March 11, 2013 by Cloud

Did you see the CF Open 13.1 WOD? There were a lot of snatches, to say the least. Jacob Tsypkin wrote this article not to piss you off (though it might), but to start a discussion about how CrossFit is enabling American Weightlifting to experience a rejuvenation that might just help make us relevant on the international stage again.

There has always been some tension between strength sport communities and CrossFit. Though in recent years, many great strength athletes and coaches have affiliated themselves with CrossFit, it seems that there is also a large contingent of strength athletes who are at best lukewarm towards it, if not outright vitriolic. Much of the dislike seems to come with regard to the Olympic lifts, perhaps due to their technical nature, and their so called “misuse” by CrossFitters.

I am very fortunate. I have been lucky enough to train with some of the best coaches and athletes in both CrossFit and weightlifting. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of both of these sports. The elitists, the douchebags, and the great people who love their sport and want to make it better. I have competed and coached competitors in both endeavors. As such, I feel I have a unique perspective on the matter.

Of course, I have my own opinions on the arguments presented by weightlifters against CrossFit. However, I do not want to discuss opinions here. I want to present some facts. Some absolute truths, which I ask you to keep in mind when analyzing what CrossFit has done, is doing, or can do for the sport of weightlifting.

Fact 1: CrossFit is creating more interest in weightlifting than there has ever been in the U.S.

5000+ CrossFit gyms worldwide (I don’t know how many exactly are in the U.S., but it is the VAST majority) educating people about the lifts. Some of them may not do a great job of teaching the lifts themselves, but consider this: the odds of an average individual knowing that the snatch and clean & jerk exist, that they are a sport, and understanding how challenging that sport is, are MUCH higher now than they have ever been before.

Fact 2: CrossFit is bringing the idea of effective GPP programming to a larger audience than ever in the U.S.

Nations which are highly successful in weightlifting almost universally have effective GPP programs in place which start at a very young age. Most of us can probably agree that physical education in the U.S. is subpar. Kids’ programs in CrossFit gyms across the country are getting young Americans excited about exercise – this alone is a huge step. Couple that with creating interest in the olympic lifts, and a GPP program which is much more similar to what you would see in countries that win medals in weightlifting – that is to say, they are biased towards teaching movement rather than particular sports. This has the potential to lead to a massive improvement in the general athleticism of the average American, which in turn carries over to more potential in young weightlifters.

Fact 3: CrossFit is gradually generating a nationwide talent identification program.

Something else which weightlifting medal winning nations often hold in common with each other, is a method by which they identify young athletes with potential for particular sports. In the U.S. no such program exists, in large part because we tend to specify athletes at a very young age, rather than presenting them with a broad array of athletic endeavors to learn, enjoy, and potentially excel in. Here’s where CrossFit comes in. Along with “traditional” sports they participate in, kids in these programs are learning the basics of weightlifting, gymnastics, sprinting, jumping, and the like. Merely by virtue of spending time engaging in this wide variety of movements, coaches will be granted the opportunity to identify kids who have potential as weightlifters early in their athletic careers, something which very rarely occurs now.

Whether you are a CrossFitter or a weightlifter, whether you love or hate CrossFit, it’s hard to debate the truth of the above claims. Their value may be questioned, but I, personally, am willing to bet that CrossFit will end up doing far more good for the sport of weightlifting than it does bad.

Besides, CrossFit is leading to this:

Sarabeth Phillips is a CrossFit Competitor. CrossFit was her introduction to weightlifting. She now snatches 80 and clean & jerks 95 at a bodyweight of 58.

And that, I think we can all agree, is something we need more of.

70’s Big….