Just wanted to give a quick ‘Good Luck’ shout-out to Ryan (Scoop), who is in Portugal for the European Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships, and Matt D., who is competing in the Grand Canyon State Games Weightlifting competition. I’m proud to claim both of these guys, and wish them success this weekend!
If you’re a computer jockey that just needs to be reminded once in a while to step away from the keyboard, consider downloading this nifty little program. It’s free, simple, and is just an easy reminder to get your buns up out of your chair once in a while!
You will find: grass-fed beef, local veggies, local honey, eggs (chicken, duck, quail, emu, ostrich—although the chicken and duck might be sold out by the time we get there), wild caught salmon, cheese, and lots more.
Just a reminder that our next Ramp Up class begins on Tuesday, January 24th, at 6pm. We will be meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 pm, with an optional Saturday workout at 0930 am. The course runs 4 weeks, and costs $200.
I’ve noticed a few folks mention ‘Retail Therapy’ as a means of dealing with their sugar withdrawals. It got me to thinking: is this an actual phenomenon? Is there something going on, at a physiological or psychological level?
The effects of shopping (even window shopping) on mood is well-established, and researchers have also noted increases in activity in the left prefrontal cortex—the so-called pleasure center of the brain. As well, shopping increases the amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which helps control the brain’s pleasure and reward centers*.
Sugar intake also triggers the release of dopamine in the brain. And frequent sugar binges can produce changes in the brain similar to what occurs to someone using cocaine or heroin! So, that old chestnut about ‘sugar addiction’ does have a basis in reality. And there are some interesting implications for other addictions—sugar addicted mice that were denied sugar turned to alcohol.
So, I guess it comes down to choosing how you’re going to go after your buzz: sugar or shopping.
There is hope, however! Exercise has been well established to be associated with improved mood, increased feelings of well-being, decreased anxiety and depression, and increased energy. Among other suggested pathways, this is accomplished through regulation of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. So the next time you want that chocolate, think about going for a walk instead.
We’re slowly figuring things out with the Forums. Just figured out that I didn’t hit the correct button to enable creating topics within subforums. So, with that being fixed, you are welcome to create your own topics/threads at any point, and in any section.
Just a reminder that we’ll be having a workshop devoted to posture and flexibility on Saturday, 1/21, at 11:30. The workshop will be led by Tina and Nate, and will provide ideas to help improve your posture, body positioning, and performance.
This is in support of the CFSW Clean Living Challenge, but is completely voluntary. I hope that you will choose to take advantage, however. Anyone is welcome to attend, but there will be a $10 fee for non-CFSW members who are not participating with a member in the CLC.
"To sleep, perchance to dream--ay, there's the rub." (updated with new article link)
No, not talking about the metaphorical sleep of death, but actual, real-life, honest-to-goodness, oh-my-lord-that-was-the-most-refreshing-night-ever sleep.
Several people have mentioned that one of their ‘Recovery’ goals for the CLC2012 is to get more/better sleep. Personally, I’m a huge fan of sleep, but we don’t seem to be talking much lately. I’m hoping to make up soon, and maybe establish a relationship again. To support that goal, here are a few selected resources, blogs, and cool stuff for you to check out.
One of the most talked about books when it comes to the sleep and fitness is ‘Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival' by T.S. Wiley. (eBook, Amazon) Robb Wolf brought this to my attention several years ago, and it’s still talked about regularly on the interwebz. The basic premise goes along with the Evolutionary Fitness idea: Primitive Man didn’t have artificial light so his body was adapted to sleep according to the rhythms of the day. There are some cool ideas in this book, like creating a perfectly black sleeping area, turning off electronics and artificial light earlier, etc. The last part of the book takes a dive down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theory, but the rest of the information seems pretty solid. Might be worth checking out.
This is a pretty cool article I came across along the same lines. Again looking at Primitive Man being attuned to the cycles of night and day. In Winter, there is a shortage of food available (primarily protein and fat), but also fewer hours of daylight. This caused Man to spend more time sleeping, thus conserving energy. There are many more hours of daylight during the summer, as well as abundant sources of carbohydrates (fruits, etc.). This led Man to be more active, as well as gorging on these sweet treats. The resultant insulin spike would create fat stores to help live through the Winter. The problem with Modern Man is that we have created a perpetual summer (lots of light and readily available carbohydrates), which leads to excess body fat.
For all you techno folks out there that can’t bear to unplug and instead spend evenings in front of a monitor, think about downloading F.lux (it’s free!). This is a software program that integrates with your computer’s clock, and changes the color of the monitor to match the time of day (bright and more blue during the day, dimmer and rosier at night). This mimics more closely the biorhythms discussed in the sources above.
And, as a nice general summary of tricks to sleep better, try this article out.
Late addition: This post from Conditioning Research shows the link between sleep disruption and obesity. Still want to stay up late working on the computer?
You asked for it (and asked, and asked, and asked…), so here you go: beginning Monday, January 23, we’ll be offering a 7 pm workout Monday - Thursday. If there is enough genuine interest and attendance, we may extend it to Friday. If no one shows up, we’ll cancel it again.
Our next group Ramp Up introductory class begins on Tuesday, January 24th. It will run for 4 weeks, meeting at 6 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with an optional workout on Saturdays at 930.
Due to space and coaching constraints, these classes are limited to 10 participants—please prepay and/or preregister to reserve your spot.
If you would prefer not to use the link below, please contact us for other options.
Wow! We had a great turnout at the Kickoff Meeting last night for the Clean Living Challenge! Around 50 folks were in attendance—we went over the Challenge, had some great nutrition information from Andy D., and hopefully everyone got some food for thought. The Challenge begins NOW, and will run for 4 weeks, ending on Monday, February 13th.
Just wanted to provide an overview for everyone that was unable to make the meeting last night:
First and foremost: We have established a new Community Forum, which will be the primary source of information and point-of-contact for the CLC. The forum is accessible to your right under the ‘Resources’ tab, labelled “CrossFit SouthWest Community”. There is also a link at the bottom of the page. It will be a growing and evolving entity for a little while, so if there’s something that you would like to see, please feel free to let me know.
For those of you interested in the Challenge, here are the high points:
In order to participate, you must check in DAILY in the Forum (in the ‘Community’ section, under ‘Clean Living Challenge’ heading).
CFSW Clean Living Challenge 2012 kicks off tonight at 6 pm!
Hope everyone can come by for the kickoff meeting for the Clean Living Challenge! We’ll be going over the requirements, providing helpful instruction, and generally having a good time. Please contact us with any questions!
We had several people run the P.F. Chang’s Half- or Full-. A bunch of folks completed the Tough Mudder. A few ladies had a soccer tournament. And just about everybody else lived it up in preparation for the Clean Living Challenge!
Due to my inability to plan ahead, and complete lack of attention to the calendar, we’ll be having a normal schedule tomorrow in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
All classes will be as usual, with the exception of the 6 pm class, which will be our Kickoff meeting for the CLC. Hope to see you there!
Savor this last, dirty weekend. The CrossFit SouthWest Clean Living Challenge begins on Monday!! What’s going to be your last indulgence? Oreos? Dunkin Donuts? Coors Light?? Maybe you could get with the folks at Epic Meal Time, and order some of this stuff:
Regardless of how you choose to spend your weekend, please feel free to join us Monday night at 6 pm for our kickoff meeting. We’ll be having a brief explanation of the Challenge, outline the rules, and have a Paleo/Primal Nutrition presentation from a Mystery Celebrity Guest!
Please feel free to contact us with any questions. Hope to see you!
And on a ‘Dirty’ note, Best of Luck to all the CFSW Tough Mudder’s this weekend! Have a great time!
Our next Ramp Up class is scheduled to begin the week of January 23. The specific days/times have not been set in stone yet, but we have the option of another evening time slot, or a midday time. If you are interested in attending, and have a particular preference, please let me know if the comments below.
We are excited to formally announce the CFSW Clean Living Challenge! The initial Challenge will run for 4 weeks, from 1/16/12 - 2/13/12.
Specific details will be announced at the Kickoff Meeting, which will be held at 6 pm on Monday, 1/16. Listed below are some general FAQs.
Q: Why “Clean Living”? Why not a Paleo/Weight Loss/New Year’s/Quick Fix Challenge?
A: We’re going to be focusing on more than just ‘Orthodox’ Paleo eating. Personally, I think it would be great if you wanted to do something like the Whole30 concurrently with this Challenge. The focus of of the ‘CLC2012’ will be on overall Lifestyle changes: nutrition, physical activity, recovery and wellness. And, frankly, “The CFSW Nutrition, Physical Activity, Recovery and Wellness Lifestyle Modification Challenge” is just too much.
Q: Do I have to be a member of CFSW to participate?
A: This is a qualified ‘No’. If you are a spouse, friend, sibling, domestic partner, roommate, housemate, teammate or soulmate of a CFSW member, and you’re participating to provide social support and generally become a more kick ass person, you are welcome to participate. If you are a former member of CFSW, we’d love to have you. If you are just generally interested in checking things out, but don’t really know anyone here, give me a call and we’ll set you up.
Q: What does it cost?
A:There will be a $20 buy-in (which you will get back). Beyond that, this challenge will require the most expensive payment of all: your commitment. Your time, energy, and emotional investment. This will require you to do some of the hardest things you’re ever going to do: order the club soda and lime at Happy Hour, give up an hour or two on a weekend to prepare food for the week, drag your butt off of the couch to go for a run when you just want to watch ‘The Bachelor’. Next to that, $20 is nothing.
Q: Will I have to take pictures with my shirt off?
A: No, but you are absolutely encouraged to do so, for your own reference. This is not a ‘weight loss’ challenge. If it were, I can think of several ways to lose a lot of weight lost in a short period of time, none of them long-term solutions. You will be asked to take some simple measurements, but are under no obligation to make the results public unless you wish to do so.
Please ask if you have any other general questions, but I’m going to save the specifics for the 16th. Maybe put your questions in the comments section below, so that everyone else can see them and the answer.