Month: December 2013

Paleo Taco Seasoning – Avoid MSG with this Recipe!

 

 Paleo Taco Seasoning

Paleo Taco Seasoning

Here is a simple tasty substitute for the store bought taco or fajita seasoning mixes.

Paleo Taco Seasoning is a great substitute for store bought MSG loaded taco seasonings. Using natural herbs and spices you can create a tasty substitute. This will also work well for fajitas as well.

When you adopt the paleo or primal lifestyle cooking your own meals and stocking your cupboards with spices is the natural progression. The store bought seasoning mixtures are loaded with sodium as well as MSG or Monosodium Glutamate which is a food additive that will disrupt the neuroregulation of food. MSG = food tasting fantastic which = you eating more food past the normal level of you getting full. MSG can have many names and you should be aware of them. It’s no secret that people are aware that this food additive is bad, but the food industry is sneaky and has many different names for MSG.

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Recipe:

2 parts Cumin

1 part Onion powder

1 part Garlic powder

1/2  part cayenne powder

1 part paprika

1 part fresh ground black pepper

1 part sea salt

 

20131230-113442.jpgMix in bowl with equal parts water and add to ground beef for taco seasoning.
Mix to taste.

Enjoy!

 

T-Rex Airdyne Workout

t-rex_hates_airdyne

Cyclists don’t like working out their upper bodies. The road cyclist body type remind me of the dinosaur T-Rex,a creature that is all legs and their arms are just strong enough to hold them onto their carbon fibre handlebars. While doing shoulder presses a cyclist advised me  “I want to avoid hypertrophy” and opted out of the strength session as he was worried about “getting too big in the upper body”.  I admire the dedication, but as a human being you may have to lift a soup can from the top shelf and you perhaps need a modicum of upper body strength and stability in the shoulders, so they don’t pop out of place under the extreme load.

small armed cyclists

This is a quick and dirty Airdyne workout that involves the Tabata protocol for timing. 20 seconds of work 10 seconds of rest. 8 minutes in total.

Tabata Protocol for 16 rounds.

20 seconds Airdyne for calories

10 seconds Rest

20 seconds Push Press with 50 or 35 pound dumbells

10 seconds Rest

Repeat the above for a total of 8 rounds.

Make sure you have a timer on your phone or mp3 player, as your brain will quickly let you down and not be able to read a clock or focus on your watch. If you are exercising in doors and are near a computer, you can use this timer. If you are outside, you can download a Tabata app or a mp3 Tabata.

I coupled this workout with a heavy push press 20 seconds on airdyne for calories then quickly write down calories and then transition to push press. I used 50 lb dumbbells.

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You could also sub this workout with thrusters or wall balls as well , but I was really looking at a workout that would put the hurt on most roadies and stick to shoulders and arms while allowing a work : rest ratio that kept the tempo high.

As for tracking the Airdyne calories you might as well keep it rolling for the total 8 minutes and add it up at the end. If you are working with a partner then just remember you calories and write it down in chalk or whiteboard before you grab the dumbbells.

For weight you probably want to pick a weight that is going to be similar to your Airdyne calories. 10 calorie 20 seconds. Rest 10 seconds 10 push press in 20 seconds.

Set your Tabata timer up for 16 rounds of Tabata and go to town!

How do you Size up?

Score: Calories on the Airdyne and Push Press reps count as 1 each and added together for a total score. 

  • Anything over 160 is badass
  • > 150 great
  • > 140 cyclist
  • > 130 getting there!

Based on my limited observations, I’ve estimated Power percentages typically are 33% lower on the airdyne for women as compared to men.

20131222-170301.jpgFor more Airdyne workouts Click here 

 

8 Practices that Will Keep you Happy and Healthy

 

Logan LePlant a young “unschooling” advocate and 13 year old recently talked at TEDx University of Nevada and he brought up some really interesting points about education and where the focus should be. One of the slides in his talk was from Dr. Roger Walsh and forms the backbone of his presentation.

8 Practices that will Keep You Happy and Healthy

Points Paraphrased from Lifestyle and Mental Health by Dr. Roger Walsh 

  • Exercise

  • Diet and Nutrition

  • Time in Nature

  • Contribution and Service

  • Relationships

  • Recreation

  • Relaxation and Stress Management

  • Religious and Spiritual

I found it interesting that these points are very congruent to the feeling that I get when I belong to a CrossFit gym. There is a strong sense of community there as well as exercise, diet and nutrition being the pillars of what makes it so successful.

The group classes make it recreation and where you meet your friends to partake in recreation for relaxation and stress management.

Sometimes the workouts are outside in nature. Religious and spiritual. Some say that CrossFit is a cult. haha, and I’m sure i’ve seen a white light in some of my workouts thinking it was the end.

Just an observation, and quite possibly a formula or perhaps blueprint for what makes gyms or boxes successful. With the new year quickly approaching, lets try to make people happy, and we will see business thrive.

 

Descending sprint interval airdyne workout

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A short little sprint interval workout that keeps the intensity high. My wife concocted this workout and her totals are on the right while mine are on the left.

Start with 2:30 on the clock and then shorten each interval until you are done.

Work: 2:30

rest : 1:00

Work : 2:00

rest : 1:00

work: 1:30

rest : 1:00

work: 1:00

rest: 1:00

work: 0:45

rest 1:00

work: 0:30

rest 1:00

work: 0:30

rest: 1:00

work: 0:15

With a continuously running clock and calorie counter score your time. Rest 1 minute in between intervals.

Enjoy this short and sweet airdyne workout.

For more Airdyne workouts click here 

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10 Tips on the Double Under – How to Master the Movement

10 Tips on the Double Under - How to Master the Movement Katy Perry VMA's skipping10 Tips on the Double Under – How to Master the Movement

It seems that everybody these days are trying double unders, including Katy Perry at the recent VMA’s. Double unders are the one technique that I can’t always teach people in one class. If you are new to CrossFit then you will inevitably run into the “Double Under” exercise, which essentially is jumping rope or “skipping”.  The double under is the act of the rope going under your feet 2 times when you jump once. While teaching a fitness intro or fundamentals class, generally I find that people haven’t jumped rope much since they were on the playground, with the exception of boxers and fighters. Using a jump rope is something that has been relegated to the box marked, ‘childhood endeavors’ like a skateboard, pogo stick, or  nerf ball. Don’t be fooled though, double unders are a great fitness tool that to the beginner is difficult to master, and demands ones co-ordination, timing, balance, and cardiovascular output.  For the seasoned CrossFit athlete, Double Unders are essentially a rest in a workout, as they are extremely efficient at doing them, and very little movement is involved. To the uninitiated Double unders are difficult and demanding, provide weeks of frustration, and discontentment, not to mention the nice welts due to cable lashes on your legs. Let’s make double unders easier for you by following these 10 Tips on the Double Under!

Here are 10 tips that will help you master the double under!

1. Pick the correct length of rope. Size it up by standing on the rope with both feet together. With the handles facing foward, the level should be at the bottom of your sternum. A rope too long is better than a rope too short, but not much. Spend the time getting sized up and your attention to detail will be rewarded.

2. Start by mastering fast “Single Unders”. One rope passing under your feet with one jump. Work your way up until you can get over 100 skips in a minute. There is no reason to progress past this point until you can master the quick single under. Once you have this, then I start people with 3 singles and then one double, then back into three singles to get their timing back. Once they get this then you can go down to 2 singles, 1 double, 2 singles.

3. Work on your timing. Double unders are all about accuracy and cadence. The timing that you should be saying in your head is “Tick – Jump”. The rope hits the ground on the word “Tick” and then you leave the ground as you say “Jump”.  The two are close together and it is a quick “Tick-Jump” almost as it is one word. It works with both double unders and single unders. You should be loading up your jump, just before you snap that wrist downwards. Once you snap that wrist and thumbs down, the you should be already in a position to quickly jump.  A common fault is people jumping too early, and they get a few double unders, but can’t seem to get past 5, and this is because their timing is a little bit off and eventually it catches up with them as it compounds over the revolutions of the rope.

4. Feel the rope hit the ground. Your rope should be in contact with the ground in order to get the “Tick”. You should be aiming to have the rope hit approximately 6 inches in front of your feet. If you start to loose that feel of the tick in the handle then you are about to break up your string of double unders and fail. Focusing on the feel of the rope will also help you focus.

working on double under practice makes perfect

5. Keep your hands low. You want to push your hands down by your sides and keep your hands lower than your elbows. Try to anchor your hands by your sides and definitely below the bottom of your ribcage.  As you get more fatigued, your hands will rise and you will start to “fly away”. Once you start to flap your wings, then you will also raise the rope up and and it will catch on your feet. As you are doing your double unders you should be thinking about forcing your hands down by your sides and staying consistent.

6. Minimize the movement. Keep all of your actions consistent, jump in the same place at the same height and speed, keep your hands by your side and focus on a sharp snap of the wrist and a well timed jump. You don’t have to jump high if you time it right. Remember “Tick Jump”, and a quick snap of the wrist, there is no need to bend your elbows or flail your arms around.

7. Turn the music down. If you are focusing on your double unders, then as well as feeling the “tick” of the rope making contact with the ground in the handle, you want to listen to the speed of the rope or cable. There is a certain tone that you want to listen to that will sync with your jumping. Once you become aware of that tone, then you can keep the rope turn consistent. With the music loud, you can’t hear that rope whirring around your head. Try it, this may be the ticket!

8. Pick a Spot and Focus. How many times have you gotten close to your PR of double unders only to break mental focus and fail? You need to stay in your zone and focus on a small stationary spot away from distractions. If you choose that location that is not moving, it helps keep you balanced and will aid your proprioception ( a fancy word for your bodies ability to recognize where it is, and what it is doing in space).Focus on the sound of the rope, the feel of the rope hitting the ground and visually pick a small stationary spot. Use all of your senses!

9. Do double unders in ALL of your workouts. Just because you “Can’t get them”, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be doing them in a workout.There are exceptions to the rule, and some just aren’t able to do double unders without losing their bladder control.  A good Coach will want you to get your double unders as fast as you can, and this is a surefire way to do it. The body will find efficiency through fatigue and some of the problems with timing seem to work themselves out in a workout. People who have a few double unders miraculously will get 20 in a row. Trying your double unders while on the clock will make you focus and keep you on task even when you become frustrated. You will never get good at double unders unless you try them. As a coach I tell newcomers to the the CrossFit game to attempt double unders and I will count all attempts as scoring towards a final tally, I take away the option of 3 for 1 that some people use as a suitable substitute for double unders. Double unders will “click” for most people during a workout.

jump rope assortment

10. Buy your own rope. Let’s get rid of the other variables of different ropes. Cable ropes turn faster than cheaper plastic ropes, and even speed ropes with bearings all turn at different speeds. The handles on the ropes have different lengths which accentuate that snap of the wrist. Let’s eliminate the handicap of having to figure out the speed at which the rope turns by using just one rope. Most CrossFit competitions allow you to bring your own rope, so there isn’t really much of a need to learn of different types.

 

If you consistently work through these steps, then you should have your double unders in no time. Jumping rope is a perishable skill as you have found out since you stopped skipping in grade 3. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t get them in your first few sessions. If you want to get good at double unders then practise a little bit every day and you will be rewarded for your persistence.

 

Please feel free to leave a comment if this helped you get your double unders, and please leave a message if you have a tip of your own!