Author Archives: Alycia← Older posts Newer posts → July 27, 2010
During any given class CrossFit class, you’ll likely hear the words pop those hips, open the hip at the top, or big jump at some point during class. Whether we are practicing kettebell swings, cleans, snatches, thrusters or reviewing the full range of motion for the deadlift, squat, or box jumps, there is a noticeable emphasis on the hip and using the lower body to get heavy weights off the ground. The hip is a large and powerful hinge that allows you to transfer the power of your legs and glutes to the rest of your body.
You may also hear the word functional, as in functional fitness or functional movement. We define functional movements, in this case, as ones that mimic movements that happen in real life such getting up from a chair, lifting heavy things off the ground, putting things on a shelf above your head, pulling or pushing something, etc.
The third and final phrase that is uttered multiple times, to every person in every class is…sit back on your heels! By keeping your bodyweight on your midfoot and heel and over your center of gravity, the power from your legs can then shoot straight up through your body, rather than back or forth as you steady yourself.
Why do we continue to hammer these fundamental concepts into your head? Because we are preparing your body for life outside of our gym and we are preserving your body for the future. By learning the elemental movements correctly, you will be able to do the things you love, play sports, pick up your kids, and stay active and independent into your senior years.
Until recently, I thought that was the long and short of it. While I understood the phrase “CrossFit can save your life…literally”, I wasn’t sure I wanted to adopt it as my own catchphrase. It just seemed a little over the top and I thought it was more applicable to the elderly, troubled youth, or the obese. My experience this weekend changed all of that.
I attended a self defense seminar on Sunday at Crossfit Tribe, taught by Defend University’s “Fight Like a Girl” self defense program. The seminar started off pretty slow and basic, and there was a lot of statistics, theory, and anecdotes…*yawn*. Then we got on the mats and started to learn some simple and super effective moves to maneuver yourself out of any dangerous situation. We learned how to escape being pinned to the ground, choked, grabbed from behind, attacked from the side or front, dragged on the ground, and sat on with full bodyweight.
As we rotated from partner to partner, practicing the moves, something happened to each of the girls in the room. One by one, the awkward apologies (“Oops, did I push you too hard?”) and timid body movements (our kicks were so ‘girly’), morphed into full contact, full force attack simulations. By the end of the class, women ranging in weight from 100lbs to over 200lbs we ‘choking’, grabbing, and attacking their partners to make the simulations feel as real as possible. Although the adrenaline didn’t really start pumping, there were definitely some moments of intensity when all I could think was “Get the #*&% off me, NOW”.
And how did we get people off of us? How could we, these small, timid girls, push a 200lb+ attacker off of us? By popping our hips, and using the full force of our lower bodies to move the weight just an inch to two…long enough to maneuver around the person and assume a position of power over them.
The same hip pop that’s used to move the barbell a few inches up while you dip down under it in a clean, is identical to the aggressive movement that you would use to push an attacker just a few inches. And a few inches and a split second is all you need to escape a potentially lethal situation.
In addition to the hip pop, there was an emphasis on drawing your knees as close to your body as possible before kicking your legs (similar to the bottom position of a squat), and by kicking through the heel, not the front of the foot, when you’re lying on your back. Kicking through the heels packs more power, preserves the knees, and allows you to turn a flailing appendage into a dangerous weapon with the weight of your whole body behind it. The difference between kicking with your foot, and kicking with your legs, glutes, and back, can be the difference between harm and safety.
After 3 hours of simulations, I now know that an integral part in protecting your life from an attacker is to pop your hips and keep the weight (or the kick) on your heels. There is absolutely no other way to effectively escape the grip or weight of a strong attacker.
How’s THAT for function fitness?
Feel free to share a story of how/when you’ve used any of the principles or movements that you’ve learned through CrossFit, in your regular life. Non-members, and seasoned CrossFitters feel free to chime in as well!Posted in News & Events | Leave a comment July 26, 2010
The next time someone tells you that eating only meats, veggies, nuts and fruit is a restrictive diet, or that it doesn’t allow for variety, remember your Periodic Table of Meats!Posted in News & Events | 2 Comments July 23, 2010
Some people, when given a plate full of salad topped with chicken, will say “its not enough. I won’t get full”, or “I don’t like salads”. But if you put a plate of chicken, broccoli, zucchini, squash, cooked spinach, and cauliflower infront of them, they’ll gladly eat it and consider it a meal. Other than containing slightly more variety of vegetables than a salad, the only difference between plate 1 and plate 2 is the temperature and seasonings on the vegetables.
For most people, ‘cooking’ a salad is an easy way to show them that they do, in fact, like vegetables!
On a plate, combine some almond meal (Trader Joe’s has this pretty cheap) with some cayenne pepper, chili powder, cilantro and garlic powder. In a bowl, mix together two eggs. Drag 4 pork chops through the egg, then the almond meal, coating them on all sides.
Meanwhile, gather some ingredients that you might put into a salad ( any veggies, really) and chop into small rounds. Rinse and chop a head of green leaf lettuce. I used carrots, zucchini and eggplant, as shown in this picture.
“Roast” some garlic in the microwave by peeling and poking 2 or 3 cloves, setting them on a plate with some olive oil, and putting them in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Add them to the sliced veggies and cook in a deep pot, with some coconut oil and Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning.
Once the veggies have softened, add in the green leaf lettuce.
At this point, your pork should be done.
Put it on a plate and eat it. ( The audible “nom,nom,nom” is optional).Posted in Recipes | Tagged Meat, Oil, Vegetables | 2 Comments July 22, 2010
This summer in has been brutal, hasn’t it?
The heat is relentless and the humidity makes a short walk feel like a marathon.
Yet day after day, you leave your air conditioned home, hop in a 107 degree car, and drive to our gym…where we proceed to put your through unthinkable feats of strength, cardiovascular endurance, speed and stamina….all in this crazy heat!!!
We appreciate your dedication, and we want you to keep something in mind the next time you’re doing your 30th burpee in a small garage on a 97 degree day…..Be Grateful It’s Not WINTER!
July 18, 2010
We found this gem on the CrossFit Affiliate Blog.
This guy from AK CrossFit demonstrates the important role that food plays in your training regimen.July 16, 2010
This Just In: Parsnips are soooooo good! If you haven’t cooked them before, please try them in this recipe!
Chicken with mushrooms and roasted eggplant with a side of parsnip fries
Turn the oven onto 325 degrees and put one medium and one large pot of water on the stove to boil.
Cut 3 chicken breasts into 2 or 3 pieces each and drop them into the larger pot of water.
Slice two baby eggplants lengthwise into thin pieces, place them on a baking sheet and cover in 2T olive oil (not enough to saturate each piece, but try to get every piece at least somewhat coated)
Cut up 3 medium parsnips into chunks put them into the medium pot of boiling water.
Flip the eggplant slices after 8-9 minutes in the oven.
Slice up 1/4 of a red onion into thin strips and cut up about 6-8 baby portobello or crimini mushrooms into slices. Place both into a large saute pan with olive oil on low-medium heat.
Drain the water from the two pots on the stove after about 15 minutes, or when the center of each piece is white ( slightly pink in the very center is okay, just as long as it’s not fleshy). Set aside and let cool.
Remove the eggplant from the oven. The pieces should be dark, but not burnt, and should look pretty dry.
Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces, chop the parsnips into rounds, and cut the eggplant pieces in half.
Put the parsnips in a saute pan with 2T olive oil on medium heat and shake back and forth to coat all of the pieces. Flip the pieces over often ( just flip your wrist a little to get the pieces to ‘jump’ in the air.
Make a quick dressing for chicken dish – combine 2T olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, some stone ground mustard and some ground pepper. Mix those ingredients together and pour on the chicken and other vegetables.
Serve and EAT!Posted in Recipes | Tagged Chicken, Vegetables | 2 Comments July 11, 2010
In the heat of the summer, there are some cravings that just can’t be satisfied without giving in. Try as you might, an apple just isn’t going to cut it when all you want is ice cream. Banana Custard, (recipe originally heard on The Paleo Podcast by Robb Wolf) however, will be there when you need it. It’s the perfect chilly treat for those hot summer nights. It’s naturally sweet, and heavy on fat, so it actually fills you up!
WARNING: This stuff is addictive. After it’s solidified in the fridge, portion it out into smaller containers, or use this as a very difficult exercise in self control.
Slice 3 bananas into small chunks. Combine them with 2 cans of coconut milk ( not light coconut milk) in a pot on the stove.
Cook on medium and stir for about 5-7 minutes, or until the bananas feel slightly softer than when you put them in. Sprinkle cinnamon, to taste.
Pour the contents of the pot into a blender (do this over the sink) and pulse on low, then high, for about 20-30 seconds total.
Pour into a container with a lid and refrigerate for 4-6 hours before eating.
ANOTHER WARNING: This is NOT something we recommend you make and eat on a constant basis over the summer. Rather, this is your new occasional indulgence. So treat it as such and save it for those times when other foods just won’t do.Posted in Recipes | Tagged Coconut Milk, Fruit | 2 Comments July 9, 2010
Salmon is one of the few foods that has the creamy, delicious goodness of a gourmet dish, even when prepared using the simplest methods. Whether pan fried or baked, with toppings or without, salmon is a filling and very flavorful dish that can be enjoyed at a restaurant for $28 or at home for about $5- $6 per serving. As long as you are buying your fish from good sources, you will be able to avoid overcooking without any paranoia about eating raw fish. The salmon meat should flake apart when cooked, rather than looking like a tuna steak.
Rinse, remove stems and cut a bunch of Swiss chard into 2-inch squares or so. Chop 1/4 of a red onion into long slivers and dice another 1/4 of an onion as well as 1/4 of a red pepper. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and place about a pound and a half of salmon, cut into 3 pieces, on a baking sheet. Line the sheet with parchment paper so that the salmon skin doesn’t stick to the pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. When the salmon is done, it should be oozing a little fat (this looks white).
While the salmon is cooking, place the following ingredients into a food processor.
1 ripe avocado
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4 red pepper, diced
Garlic powder (about 5 shakes)
Paprika (3 shakes)
Red pepper flakes (2 shakes)
Salt and pepper (a little bit of each)
Pulse for about 30 seconds, add 2T of water, and pulse until all ingredients are blended together.the color might be a brownish green. That’s ok. It’s less about how it looks and all about how it tastes.
Pour some olive oil into a large pan and sautee the sliced red onions until they get soft. Add the Swiss chard and cover for 5 minutes. Uncover and, stir, cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Don your finest ‘around the house clothes’ and pair with a glass of your favorite wine.
You’re in for a gourmet treat tonight!Recipes | Tagged Avocado, Seafood, Vegetables | Leave a comment July 6, 2010
Collard Greens are hearty, leafy greens and are a staple of the dinner table in the South . We think they should be a staple of your table, too. They are a great source of Vitamin C and fiber, they are filling, and they taste amazing!
Collard Greens with Portobello Mushroom, Red Onion and Mustard
Cut off the stems of the collard greens, and cut out the stem from the middle, leaving just the leafy parts. Stack those up in a pile and chop them into squares. Rinse and slice a portobello mushroom into long (1/4 inch to a 1/2 inch thick) slices. Slice 1/4 of a red onion into long slices.
Put the portobello mushrooms and onions into a deep pot with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook on low to medium heat, covered for 3-4 minutes, then uncovered, until the mushrooms turn a darker shade of tan and the onions start to get soft. Add salt, pepper and a grainy mustard. We used a fig mustard that we bought in France, but any grainy mustard will do.
Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan ( if the collard leaves are still damp from rinsing them, then don’t add the water) and add the collard greens. Use tongs or a big spoon to toss the leaves around so they are coated with oil. Cook on medium heat, covered, for about 6-8 minutes, or until the greens look wilted and darker green. Stir every 2 minutes.
Collard Greens with Bacon, Cayenne Pepper, and Apple Cider Vinegar
Rinse, remove stems, and chop collards as described in the first recipe. Chop 1/2 of a white onion. While you’re doing that, cook slice three strips of thick bacon ( we use a nitrite and nitrate free Applewood Smoked Bacon from Trader Joe’s), cut into 3 pieces each, over low heat in a deep saucepan. When the bacon is 3/4 of the way done, add the white onion.
Slice 3-4 cloves of garlic into thin strips and add to the pot. When they begin to turn translucent, add 3 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 2 Tablespoons of cayenne pepper, a little bit of salt, and black pepper. Mix with a large spoon.
Add the collards, stir them with the liquid from the pot, cover and cook on low to medium for 10 minutes. They are shown below with delicious pulled pork and sweet potatoes. A Southern meal in a Jersey house. How about that.Recipes | Tagged Bacon, Vegetables | 1 Comment July 3, 2010
AMRAP 10 Minutes
17 Dumbbell Snatches (alternating hands)
7 Dumbbell Cleans
6 Dumbbell Push Jerk
Attention: We will be closed July 9th and 10th.Posted in WOD | Leave a comment ← Older posts Newer posts →