Build A Better Salad….NOT PIZZA

Man do I have a salad for you…That’s right I said a salad. Don’t laugh until you try it. I came up with the recipe myself and it was a big hit around the house. And though I’m typically a meat and potatoes kinda guy, this salad had me at Manchego cheese.

Ingredients:

Baby Spinach

Clinatro

1 yellow and 1 red bell pepper

2 ripe tomatoes

1 tsp Minced Garlic

Fresh avocado (optional)

Small block of Manchego Cheese. This is a Spanish cheese made from sheep’s milk. It’s somewhat soft and not overly strong. You could substitute a feta cheese here but that would take away from the Spanish theme I was going for.

Salt and Pepper

Vinaigrette:

Olive Oil

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar (you don’t need both but if you have them lying around why not)

3 tbls Lemon juice

Salt and Pepper

note: When it comes to the measurements for the vinaigrette it’s more to taste than anything. When I made this the first time I didn’t measure everything out. Sorry.

First off you want to make the Vinaigrette and set aside. To do this you want to combine the vinegar, garlic, lemon juice and S/P. Then slowly whisk in the Olive Oil until combined. If you’re not sure how to do this YouTube it :)

Slice the peppers long ways in to thin slices and add to the Vinaigrette. (The longer you let the peppers marinate the better). Cut the tomatoes into thick or small chunks. I prefer big but this is completely up to you. Sprinkle the tomatoes with S/P and set aside. (If you are letting the peppers marinate for a while do this step just before you are ready to combine all the ingredients). Remove peppers from marinade, shaking off the excess.

In a large bowl combine the spinach, peppers, tomatoes, chopped cilantro and toss until well incorporated. When you are ready to serve, portion out accordingly and then add the sliced avocado, shredded cheese and drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the top just at the last moment.

What makes this salad so great is how fresh it is. Sure you can buy a store bought vinaigrette but why not make it yourself? Also, the crisp peppers paired with ripe tomatoes and the bite from the cheese is heavenly. Trust me your taste buds will thank me later.

Note: If you wanted to add some grilled chicken that would be a pretty awesome choice.

Enjoy!

Can’t Do A Pull-Up? Well Try This

I (use) to  hate Pull ups..a lot. Fact is up until about 4 months ago I couldn’t do a single one. It has always been a workout that has intimidated me and I’ve always said, “I weigh 220+ lbs.. Pull ups are super hard for big guys.” That was nothing but fear and laziness. It’s a lot easier to make excuses on why you can’t do something rather than working hard to overcome a weakness.

So one day I jumped up on the Pull-up bar and tried one and low and behold I was able to knock out a few. So every other day I would jump up on the bar, crank out 5-6…that grew to 8-10…and eventually stalled out around 12-14. When I started CrossFit I immediately found out that Pull-ups are a very important movement. I would say they apart of at least 2-3 WOD’s every week and are apart of the standard “CrossFit Warm-up”. I mean some WOD’s call for 40 plus Pull-ups (not all at the same time mind you) and there is one that calls for 100. So I just knew that only being able to do 12 wouldn’t cut it.

Enter the Recon Ron Pull-up program. This is a program that will step by step help you improve your Pull-up. Literally if you can only do one “dead hang” Pull-up (starting by literally just hanging on the bar with your arms straight. No bend at all) you can do this program. If you can do more than one, then you can start with a different stage. If you can’t do a single pull up at all, I will post a beginners program at the end. 

Over the Top on ‘Dead Hang’ Pull-ups
By LtCol. Stanley J. Pasieka, Jr., USMC (Ret)

After fifteen years in the Marine Corps I am finally able to “max” the pull/chin-up event on the physical fitness test. You can too if you follow this schedule. Before you know it you will be able to accomplish what the Marine Corps has set for a perfect test score.
Although everybody knows that the only way to increase your ability to do pull-ups is to do them over and over, I was never able to make this sound advice work for me. A few years ago, I received a “guaranteed to work” schedule from one of my former platoon commanders. He assured me that in merely six months I would easily be able to complete twenty pull-ups. In just 23 weeks on the “Recon Ron Pull-up Program,” I completed 21 chin-ups. If this program worked for me, there’s a good chance it can work for many other Marines, if they are willing to give it a try.
The program is based on performing a manageable number of pull-ups each day, and gradually increasing the number. The total number of pull-ups done each day is completed in five sets. Each step is repeated daily for two weeks before progressing to the next step. Time is not a factor, but each workout can complete in less than ten minutes.
As an example, when I started this program, I struggled to reach nine pull-ups. Thus, I selected what I reasoned to be manageable number-26 pull-ups in ten minutes (step 13). Surprisingly, I was able to accomplish the workout with little difficult in five and a half minutes. It seemed to me that this initial success was far better than straining and possibly quitting the program before giving it a proper chance. After doing a set, I would walk around and generally finish all five sets in less than eight minutes. But, as I progressed to the steps with fifty and more total repetitions in each workout the time required became secondary, and it was good to just finish.
I can verify, as an experiment of one, that this plan will enable you to max the pull-up event on the physical fitness test. Set your goal and begin by adjusting the schedule to suit your particular fitness level.

Step 1: 1,1,1,1,1

Step 2: 2,2,1,1,1

Step 3: 3,2,2,1,1

Step 4: 3,2,2,2,1

Step 5: 4,2,2,2,2

Step 6: 4,3,2,2,2

Step 7: 4,4,2,2,2

Step 8: 5,4,3,2,2

Step 9: 5,4,3,3,3

Step 10: 6,4,4,3,3

 Step 11: 6,5,4,4,3

Step 12: 7,5,4,4,4

Step 13: 7,6,5,4,4

Step 14: 8,6,5,5,4

Step 15: 8,7,5,5,5

Step 16: 9,7,6,5,5

Step 17: 10,7,6,6,5

Step 18: 10,8,6,6,6

Step 19: 10,8,7,6,6

Step 20: 11,8,7,7,6

Step 21: 12,9,7,7,7

Step 22: 13,9,8,7,7

Step 23: 14,9,8,8,7

Step 24: 14,10,8,8,8

Step 25: 15,10,9,8,8

Step 26: 16,10,9,9,8

Step 27: 16,11,9,9,9

Step 28: 17,11,10,9,9

Step 29: 18,11,10,10,9

Step 30: 18,12,10,10,10

So obviously you won’t be trying to complete a Marine Physical Ability test anytime soon but you do want to be able to do more pull ups. So this program is perfect for you or really anyone. Remember this is a “Dead Hang” pull up. That means when you reach the top of the pull up and descend, the arms must become completely straight before going back up. Here’s a video showing perfect form. Anything other than this would be cheating. Don’t do it. Don’t be that guy or gal. So pick a stage and get at it!

So what if you can’t do a pull-up? Where do you start? Well you have to remember that a pull-up works nearly every muscle above your hips. So if you have a weak upper body you’ll struggle. Pull ups can improve your shoulder and bench press and vice versa. A great way to mimic the pull up with out using your entire body weight would be a “Reverse Row” . Video here.  You can also do assisted Pull-ups either with someone holding your legs or with a machine. Another good sub would be the “Lat Pull Down”. Video here. This doesn’t exactly mimic a Pull-up but it’s very close. So you can do the same program above but either with the Reverse Row, assisted pull-ups or a Lat pull down movement. But eventually you’ll have to jump up on the bar and attempt one all by yourself. Don’t be afraid. You can do it.

A No B.S. Look at “Diets”

NEWS FLASH…Most diets work and it’s the people on the “diet” that typically fail.

Let’s be real honest, if there was one diet that worked for everyone…everyone on earth would be on that diet and everyone would be thin. Also, the person who created said diet would be filthy, dirty rich.

So, how do we go about picking the “diet” that works for us? Well, the answer lies in yourself. Just picking a diet based off of someone elses results, and not your likes and dislikes, will more than likely lead to failure.

The following  (in no particular order) is a pro and con list of what I feel are the most well-known diets today. Yes it is rather lengthy but I wanted to be as thorough as possible. Remember, these are my opinions and should be taken as such.

Continue reading

A Hundred Pounds Lost

Every morning I wake up, take care of my daily “business” and step on the scale. It can either be an exiliarating or extremely frustrating process. The following is a representation of the emotions and reactions that follow:

At first if I’ve lost weight I’m typically like:

BUT if  somehow I didn’t lose weight or possibly even gained then it may look like something like this:

Cause obviously I SHOULD HAVE LOST WEIGHT. So there must be something wrong with the scale, right? So the blood pressure starts to rise and on the inside im like..

On the outside my face is like “Whaaaa?”

Since the scale is broken and needs to be adjusted I decide to step off the scale..gently kick it..move it..pick it up.. (Cause you know that helps) then get back on and do one of these:

If its good news (My weight dropped like .10 of a lb) I’m feeling very..

If its bad news…

View original post 98 more words

Finally A Better Peanut “Butter” aka PB2

Not to long ago I wrote an article on the poor effects Peanut Butter had when it came to health issues/dieting.

According to the website Peanut Butter (obvious name huh) 71% of Peanut Butters calories come from FAT. (NOT GOOD) 14% from carbohydrates and 15%  from protein. It’s high in trans fat which is also not exactly good for you.

Well I’m here to tell you THERE IS HOPE. If you are one of the millions of people who love Peanut Butter you no longer have to worry about it being something to scoff at. Thanks to the fine people at Bell Plantation a new product called PB2 has transformed peanut butter from a faux pas to THE GREATEST THING TO EVER TOUCH YOUR LIPS.

So what is PB2?

Well to be honest it’s not really Peanut Butter. Take what you think about Peanut butter; smooth, creamy, sweet and think “Roasted Peanuts exploding in your mouth”.  

What they’ve done is used what Bell Plantation calls a “special process” (I have no clue what that means) and removes 85% of the bad fat from roasted peanuts. What you are left with is basically powered peanuts. (I know that sounds weird). All you do is add some water to the powered peanuts and voila you have the most delicious peanut “butter” you’ve ever tasted. You get all the amazing flavor of peanuts but without all the crap. It’s not as sweet but trust me PB2 is 100x better than its Jiffy counter part.

A few things to point out from the picture.

1. PB2 is 100% NATURAL. No preservatives or additives that make it “low in fat”.

It’s what’s not in PB2 that makes it so good for you. For starters, our special process removes 85% of the fat calories without the chemicals typically used in producing reduced fat foods. Something else you won’t find in PB2 is preservatives. What you will find is natural roasted peanut flavor.

2. The ingredients are “Roasted Peanuts”, “Sugar and Salt”. That’s it. Again, no processed crap that may end up one day leading to some type of cancer.

3. 1.5 grams of Fat per serving (2 tbsp for both PB2 and PB) compared to nearly 15 grams in regular Peanut Butter. WHAT!

4. 190 calories per serving in PB and only a whopping 45 in PB2.

Seriously, PB2 may be the greatest diet “supplement” that I’ve come across, ever. Oh and I almost forgot, PB2 also comes in a Chocolate flavor as well. I bought both regular Peanut Butter and the Chocolate version and let me tell you, I may prefer the Chocolate one. IT’S THAT FREAKING GOOD.

Where can I buy PB2?

Well that depends on where you live. I only found it at a local organic store here in Tallahassee, FL. Bell Plantation has a handy-dandy “Store Locator” link so you can see what stores in your area sell PB2. If you don’t have a distributor in your area, you can also order direct from the Bell Plantation website.

So go get yourself some PB2. You’ll thank me later.

Be blessed,

Lyell

My Faith and Weight-loss. Yes They Are Connected

My readers may not know this but I am a Christian, a husband to a wonderful wife and a father to an amazing little girl (and soon to be a baby boy). Honestly, A Hundred Pounds Lost is not a political or religious website. I didn’t create this blog to push an agenda on things not linked to health related issues. However, this is a blog about me and my life. So every once in a while I’ll speak about my life and the world around me. In the end, you don’t have to agree with me but at least respect my heart.

At times I can be harsh and according to my wife, preachy. For instance my latest post, I’m Pissed For A Very Good Reason, is a perfect example of my passions running rampant through my fingers. If that post offended anyone, I apologize. I don’t mean to be this way, I really don’t. I just believe I was put on this earth for a reason and I can’t sit by and watch people slowly die and not say anything.

Enter my faith. As a Christian I believe in a higher power. I believe we were put on this earth to not only serve God but also serve his people, the people he created. If I sit by and never share the Gospel with unbelievers, what would that say about me and my “faith”? And if I sit by and say nothing I feel I will be held accountable for this. Conversely, if I sit by and say nothing about someones unhealthy lifestyle, and they later die due to that lifestyle, again I feel accountable for that. Hence my passion.

A little background:

When I started losing weight three years ago, I never knew how much effect losing 100 pounds would have on my life and my faith. All I wanted to do is lose some weight. Who knew how bad things would get? Just how bad was it? Well, instead of my faith driving my weight loss, I became selfish and inward focused. All I cared about was losing weight and how I looked. It became my life. And this selfish attitude almost destroyed my marriage. Thank God I realized my sin before things came tumbling down around me.

The Bible is very clear that all things are meaningless if not centered around Christ. It is all vanity.

I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 1:14

I could lose all the weight, write a ton of blog posts, help people lose thousands of pounds, become famous for these efforts and all that would be meaningless, like chasing the wind, if my focus was on selfish desires. For nearly three years I was just running in circles trying to catch something that wasn’t attainable. And it took almost losing everything to realize just how off centered I had become.

Just like losing 100 pounds, coming to the end of myself has been and will continue to be a long, hard process with many ups and downs. But now that my life is centered correctly my perspective has changed. I see now that my faith and my health are directly connected. Instead of fighting against each other, they work side by side with my faith leading the way. That my passion for saving physical lives can also be connected with a person’s spiritual life as well. I have no idea what this will look like. I do not have a plan. I just know if I sit idly by, watching people die, I will somehow be held accountable.

Be blessed,

I’m Pissed For A Very Good Reason

I’m not sure if you’ve been reading the news lately (normally I pay little attention to the media) but it looks like New York City’s Mayor is taking a stand against Obesity and Heart Disease. And I love it:

NEW YORK, May 30 (Reuters) – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to propose a far-reaching municipal ban on sales of large-size sugary beverages (16 oz’s or higher) by restaurants, mobile food carts, movie theaters and deli’s.

ALL THE OUTRAGE!!

How dare that daggum Yankee force people to actually drink less soda!!!! GET THE ROPE AND STRING HIM UP BOYS! (sarcasm font engaged) Yes, normally I am against the government taking away the rights of Americans. After all this is a free country, right? People should have the right to eat, drink or do whatever they want. It’s their life. Well, that’s not exactly true. There are smoking bans, seat belt laws, drug laws, speed limits, laws for wearing your helmet while riding a motorcycle, child safety laws, alcohol limits, DUI laws, and 1000’s of other laws that protect people from themselves. Why? Cause humans cannot be trusted to make selfless, smart, well-educated decisions. So no, you can’t do whatever you want.

Why am I so pissed? It’s just soda bro. I’m pissed cause the people who are outraged by NYC attempting to make them just a little healthier can’t see past their tiny (or big) noses. It’s all about them. Their wants, their likes, what THEY want. We are OK with telling people who they should marry BUT GOD FORBID YOU TOUCH MY COCA COLA YOU JERK. I want cheap healthcare AND I WANT MY DOUBLE QUARTER POUNDER WITH LARGE FRIES. I’m disabled cause I weigh 500 lbs so someone should pay for my living expenses BUT I STILL WANT TO DRINK ALL THE SODA, NEVER EXERCISE AND EAT ANYTHING I WANT. There are kids starving in the world BUT DON’T TAKE AWAY MY RIGHTS.

I’m also pissed cause these people don’t see the bigger picture. Listen, no one is trying to take away your rights, they are trying to save your lives. What NYC is doing is taking a very small step towards reducing Heart Disease, the reigning #1 killer in America. 

Heart disease is the #1 killer in America. #2 is Cancer. {1 }

2,200 people die each DAY from heart disease and strokes. EACH. DAY. 2200 X 365 days = 803,000 a year {1 }

It’s the #1 killer for both men and women. {1 }

It accounts for 24% of the deaths in the black community and 25% in the white community. {1 }

1-4 Americans will die each year from heart disease. {1 }

Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease. In 2008, 405,309 people died from coronary heart disease alone.{1 }

The #1 and #2 risk factors for heart disease is Inactivity (53%) and Obesity (34%). Yet diabetes (11%) and high cholesterol (15%) are at the bottom. {1 }

Below is the percentage of U.S. adults with heart disease risk factors in 2005-2008.

  1. Inactivity 53%
  2. Obesity 34%
  3. High Blood Pressure 32%
  4. Cigarette Smoking 21%
  5. High Cholesterol 15 %
  6. Diabetes 11%

Heart disease and stroke related hospitalization cost this country over $444 BILLION dollars in 2010. {3}

One in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke {1 }

Heart disease and strokes are the leading causes of death and disability for people in the U.S. Overweight people are more likely to have high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, than people who are not overweight.Very high blood levels of cholesterol can also increase risk of heart disease and often are linked to being overweight. {2}

If you can read those points and still think reducing people’s soda consumption is a bad thing and that it infringes on someones “rights”, well then I worry about you.

YOU ARE JUST BEING MEAN TO SODA DRINKERS! Hush you. It’s not exactly hard to link soda consumption to Heart Disease/ Obesity.

Soda Consumption-> Not Enough Water-> Unhealthy Diet-> Obesity-> Inactivity-> Heart Disease    

Does it mean that people who drink soda will automatically get Heart Disease? Not necessarily but forcing people to drink a little less ain’t a bad thing. Again, it’s OK to tell people whom to marry, where they can smoke, when to wear seat belts etc but trying to reduce heart disease and obesity is just out of the question?  It’s OK to look down on the heroine addict but not on the obese person who eats fast food 5 times a week. “I HAVE MY RIGHTS”. Once again, 2200 people  die EVERY day from Heart Disease and that number is rising. BTW about 2000 people die each year of heroine use. Sadly, there’s a war on drugs but not on something that kills 800,000 Americans EVERY year. More than both World Wars, the Korean, Vietnam and both Middle East wars COMBINED. Still think the Mayor of NYC is such a bad guy?

So, yes I’m angry and rightfully so. I’m mad cause hundreds of thousands of people die each year BECAUSE OF THEIR OWN CHOICES. I’m pissed cause according to the CDC these “chronic diseases – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes – are among the most prevalent, costly, and preventable of all health problems.” [4] I’m pissed because the cost of treating Heart Disease is causing healthcare premiums to dramatically rise. [5] I’m pissed cause many of the people using government assisted healthcare have Heart Disease. {4}

So go ahead and demand your “rights”. Claim that this is a free country. Keep your selfish head in the sand. Just don’t expect the rest of the country to foot the bill for your reckless behavior.

{1 }http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
{2} http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/obesity-health-risks
{3} http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/AAG/dhdsp.htm
[4] http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/calculator/index.htm
[5] http://www.forahealthieramerica.com/ds/impact-of-chronic-disease.html

Crossfit Work Out of the Day

Welcome to a new feature here at AHundredPoundsLost: Tracking my Crossfit progress. I will post daily (well as best as I can) the results of my Work Out of the Day or WOD. Feel free to join along by posting your results in the comment section.

If you’re new to Crossfit please read “Crossfit: Am I Fit Enough” and “Crossfit: How to get started”. You can see the scaled WOD’s at BrandX.

SUNDAY 120603 (this “code” is just the date: year, month, day) 

“Nancy”

5 rounds for time of:
400 meter run
95 pound back box squats, 15 reps

20:33

Rounds for time means that one “round” is a 400 meter run and 15 squats. Goal is to do all 5 rounds as fast as possible. I try and go for unbroken sets (not stopping during the run or  the squats) and any rest I may get only comes between each round.

CrossFit: How To Get Started

Disclaimer: I am not a CrossFit certified trainer. I am new to CrossFit and the following is only my suggestions. Please go to www.CrossFit.com for more information.

Yesterday I gave you an intro to CrossFit and why I’m so excited about it. Today I’ll take you a little further and give you some suggestions on how to get started. If you did what I suggested yesterday and checked out the CrossFit main site, www.Crossfit.com,  then you already have a basic understanding of how CF works. If you didn’t follow my advice, go there now.

CF believes in three major training ideas:

Randomness of Workouts- CF completely throws out the idea that you can’t workout the same muscle in back to back days. Typically, someone who lifts weights works one or two muscle groups each day and they won’t hit that same muscle until the following week. CF does the exact opposite. Example: Does a swimmer only swim once a week? No, so why should you only squat or do pull-ups once a week?

Intensity– The beauty of CF is in the intensity but CF workouts are not to be taken lightly. At the end of a “Work Out of the Day” or simply a “WOD” you will be exhausted. Trust t me, you’ll hurt but the pain is worth it. The good thing is that most WOD’s are short, between 12-30 minutes. Meaning you’ll get a full days workout in with just 12-30 minutes of work.

Functional Movements- No more bicep curls, tricep extensions, bent over rows or leg extensions. Every movement you do with CF will be a “Functional Movement”. Basically, if you don’t need it to live your daily life, you won’t do it. We don’t have Back and Bicep day, we do Dead lift and Pull-ups. Instead of a leg extensions that serve no functional value, we do squats. The point is the workouts that you do at the gym only help you look better and make you a little stronger. They don’t emulate daily life. CF workouts however, make you better at life.

The days of going to the gym, not really knowing exactly what you’ll be doing, how hard you’ll lift, how long the workouts will last and if what you’re doing is actually working is over. Want to get started? Well you have two optoins

1. Workout on your own

2. Join a CF gym or “Affiliate”.

Let’s start with #1

A couple of thoughts

  • You need to know your own limitations. Even the most in-shape person isn’t CrossFit. That may sound silly but it’s true. After my first WOD I understood this completely. FYI: Starting slow and easy is better than getting hurt.
  • To start CF all by yourself you’ll need to be a self motivator. The workouts are intense and if you aren’t the type of person who can push harder and harder when you’re tired, this may not be the best option for you.
  • You don’t have to have all the equipment to start (many of the exercises can be done with just your body weight). If you already have a gym membership I suggest keeping that membership and doing the WOD’s there until you get the hang of it or at least till you can buy enough equipment at your house.

To start by yourself follow this simple formula:

1. Spend 15 minutes warming up. Use your full body. Do pushups, pull ups, sit ups, air squats etc.

2. Do the WOD. (They have free apps for your phone to tell you the WOD)

3.  Spend 15-30 minutes stretching or working on other skills. This one is optional and only done if you have energy left after the WOD.

It’s that simple.

Here’s the WOD posted this morning.

Wednesday 120523

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
5 Chest to bar Pull-ups
5 Ring dips
15 Squats

If the WOD seems too hard, you can go to CrossFit Brand X and get an easier version. Basically, they take the WOD posted on the main site and “scale” it down for those of us who are, well CF challenged. These guys have been great to me while I’ve been trying to get settled.

Example:

Pack
Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
3 Chest to bar Pull-ups
3 Ring dips
15 Squats

Puppies
Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:
5 Pull-ups (Beginner or assisted okay)
5 Dips (Banded or assisted okay)
15 Squats

Every day a new WOD will appear and every day Brand X offers a scaled down version, FOR FREE. So if you’re someone like me who is a self motivator, has the equipment or gym membership then jump right it. You’ll love it.

#2 Join an Affiliate

OK maybe you’re a little intimidated by the thought of doing CF all by yourself or you’ll need that kick in the pants when times get tough. If so, then option #2 is for you. At an Affiliate you’ll get so freakin much it’s almost laughable.

  • Personal Trainers to show you not just what to do,  but how to do it, when to do it and help you stay motivated. This is almost priceless.
  • All the equipment you’ll ever need.
  • Motivation by fellow CrossFitters. This may be the best part. Typically, CF is done in groups. So you won’t be just working out all by yourself hoping that whatever you’re doing is being done right.

The one downside to joining an affiliate is the price. The one in my town is about $150 a month. Yes, that’s a lot of money but consider what all you get? I chose option #1 mainly cause I already had a home gym and had a good base but that’s not typical for everyone.

No matter which option you choose just be smart about it. Maybe it’s worth joining an affiliate for a month or two until you get the hang of it. Either way, CF is amazing. It will push you to extremes you’ve never been to before. You never get bored and you’ll never plateau. Yes, you will hurt a lot but anything worth doing should be painful in some way.

If you have any questions feel free to send them my way. I suggest though going to the Brand X website and asking those guys what to do.

Be blessed,

Lyell

CrossFit: Am I Fit Enough?

OK my “12 Week Challenge” finally ended two weeks ago. So, lets talk about some RESULTS?!

Lost 20 pounds

Dropped from 24% body fat to 18%

Increased squat by 80 lbs

Increased Bench by 65 lbs

Thoughts: Overall it was a good routine. I’d suggest it for anyone looking to shed fat and get lean but not for the average gym rat. To be honest, it got quite boring after a while (about 8 weeks) but I will say I learned a lot. For one, I learned how to properly eat to grow muscle and lose fat. That’s probably the most important take away for me. I also learned the importance of making food a source of fuel and not why I live.

So what’s next? Well, I’m glad you asked. It just so happens that the Sunday before my 12 weeks ended ESPN was airing the 2011 CrossFit games. I had heard of CrossFit from a few friends but I had never seen it with my own eyes. After just a few minutes I was hooked. What’s CrossFit? I’ll get into that in a minute but first click the link below and watch a video from those CrossFit Games. This event simply blew my mind.

The “Killer Cage”

If you aren’t sure what they did here’s the workout:

3 Rounds For Time (meaning they had to complete all three rounds as fast as possible)

7 reps of 225 lb Front Squat  (full range of motion BTW)

Bike 700 Meters

100 foot Handle Bar Traverse

WHAT?! They did all that in less than FOUR MINUTES! If you think that’s easy well, you’re freaking crazy. BTW if you do in fact think it’s easy just go outside and try to do three rounds of 20 push ups, 20 squats, 20 sit-ups and 20 pull-ups without rest. I bet you’re out of breath by the end of the first round. Go ahead, try it.

If you aren’t impressed by what those guys just did you may need to watch it again. Actually, go watch it again. Watch the guy in blue come from behind to win. Watch the guy in green, who was in first, eventually come in 4th cause his grip failed him at the end.

Notice the guys in the video aren’t super thin or super huge. Why? Well there are plenty of huge guys who can bench 500 lbs but can’t run a mile or a person who can run a marathon but will struggle to do a push up. That’s the beauty of CrossFit. It’s not about who is the strongest or who has the most endurance. It’s a combo of both. And it’s not just for guys. Women competed in the games too. I’m telling you, these athletes (and yes they are athletes) are the fittest in the world and it’s not even close.

So, after watching nearly 3 hours of the CrossFit games I knew I had found my sport. Maybe not in the way those guys consider it a sport, but I knew I had found something that would push me to levels I have never seen or ever thought to reach.

What is Crossfit?

CrossFit or simply “CF” describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement, with the stated goal of improving fitness (and therefore general physical preparedness). The definition on Crossfit.com is a little more intense:

CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.

OK, CF isn’t just for those types of people listed above. Yes, if you are in a job or service that demands a high level of physical fitness, then CrossFit would be the perfect fit but what about the average joe? Well, I’m an average joe, how can CF help me or better yet why does CF seem so appealing?

Does your back ache? Do you get tired after working in the yard for a couple of hours? Do you get tired after holding your young child after just a few minutes? Do you need a break after standing a while? Are you a football, soccer, baseball, hockey or softball  player and want to get Bigger, Stronger, Faster? Do you feel sluggish after a long day sitting at a computer? Does it hurt when you bend over to pick something off the floor? Are your muscles extremely tight? Have you been doing the same workout routine for YEARS and still get winded playing basketball? Do you want to jump higher so you can be better at basketball? Has your workout routine stalled? Do you simply just want to be better at life? Well, CF can help with all of that and more.

CF is for everyone no matter your background. I’ll spend more time later about CF, how it workds, its benifits and how you can get started but if your interest has been peeked go to CrossFit.com and take a look around. There’s a lot of info on CF out there and it took me about 3 days to fully grasp where to start. If you get confused send me an email and I’ll help get you anyway I can.

Be blessed,