I love hearing that my lifestyle involves the “most dangerous workout” there is! When catching back up with friends from home in Florida we do the usual back in forth of:
“How are you doing?”
“I’m doing great, and you?”
“I’m doing well as well…”
But the next question that I often get is, “What have you been doing to stay in shape?” I tell them I have been doing Crossfit pretty religiously for the past year and a half. Having a background in Olympic lifting (thanks to a father who pushed me to be the best athlete I could be, by starting “oly” lifting during high school) gave me a little bit of a leg up, and being a former division 2 college baseball player I found myself craving the competitive atmosphere a Crossfit Gym delivers.
After I stop babbling about Crossfit, I tend to get the question, “Being a doctor aren’t you worried about getting injured? Crossfit is so dangerous!”
Crossfit has been shown in one study that, Crossfit-Based High-Intensity Power Training Improves Maximal Aerobic Fitness and Body Composition. Currently there are no Peer Reviewed Journal Articles that can definitively state that Crossfit leads to more injuries than other conventional strength training. This is something that could use studying in the future. I’ve thought about this for some time now and here are my recommendations on this:
Crossfit is just as dangerous as someone following their own training program in the gym. The key to staying injury free is finding a gym that really takes pride in coaching perfect form and techinique.
- A good Crossfit coach is going to sacrifice a new personal record (which feels amazing to accomplish) for doing the exercises with correct form.
- A good Crossfit coach is going to work with you when your technique on your squat is just a little bit off (ie: curving your back when driving out of the hole).
- A good Crossfit coach is going to put you through a good warm-up and several mobility exercises to ensure that your muscles aren’t cold and susceptible to sprains and strains.
This is what people should look for when joining a Crossfit gym – coaches and a community that cares. They should find a gym that has beginner classes/elements courses that walk you through all the movements that Crossfit will involve. Every movement in Crossfit can be modified to someone’s capabilities. For instance, if pull-ups are something that you just can’t do, then a good gym and coach will modify the exercise. Generally, they will give you a band to use in order to strengthen the muscles that are weak (I personally think a pull up is a goal that everyone should set to accomplish. You never know when you may be required to pull yourself to safety…)
A coach that you do not want is the one that will encourage you to push through a repetition with improper form. A coach who pays more attention to his phone during the workout, than your curled back as you do a deadlift. A coach who would rather be elsewhere when teaching the class. A coach who just tells you to limber up on your own. These gyms and coaches are few and far between, but as the saying goes “One bad apple gives the whole bunch a bad name!” and I believe this is why Crossfit gets a bad name from time to time.
I believe that if you find the Crossfit gym and/or coach that are right for you, you’ll find that there is a smaller chance of injury than potentially doing workouts incorrectly on your own. The added bonus of finding a good community and friends is also very beneficial to ones overall health!
REMEMBER, Crossfit is what YOU make of it, don’t let other athletes in the gym dictate YOUR fitness goals!
I hope everyone is seeing great results so far! Only 9 more days to go!
My next recipe calls for ground beef. My roommate and I buy beef in bulk from Bringhurst Farms, and its become a staple in our fridge! http://www.bringhurstmeats.com The variety pack of grass-fed beef from this butcher usually has somewhere between 10-15 pounds of ground beef. We have come up with various different uses for the ground beef: it is not onle a good source of protein and fat, but can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, OR dinner! One of my favorite recipes calls for:
1- one pound package of ground beef
1/2 of an onion (chef’s choice here on type)
Butter or Ghee
Coconut aminos (for some additional flavor)
Feel free to get creative and add any paleo ingredient you want!
Get a mixing bowl and add all these ingredients in. Now, the fun part is using your hands (after you have washed them of course) to mix everything together. Add salt, pepper, and coconut aminos to taste.
Once you’re done mixing this “meatloaf” style mix together, make burger patties to the size of your liking. Set the old iron skillet or pan on the stove with either ghee or butter on high heat. Cook the burgers on this high heat to the internal temperature of your liking.
Brussel Sprouts – these go great with Beef!
Get a bag full of brussel sprouts from Trader Joe’s or any other grocer. Rinse the sprouts, cut off the bottom portion, and cut in half. After doing this put the sprouts in a bowl, and pour in some balsamic vinegar and honey (enough to coat the sprouts). Salt and pepper to your preference, then place the cut sides down in an iron skillet with leftover bacon grease or butter. Brown the sprouts on this side until a good carmelization has developed and then flip over.
Place a lid on the pan occasionally to allow the sprouts to steam as well as sauté.
Enjoy this delicious dish, I know that I do!
For the next 30 days, you will be embarking on a journey that will leave you, and your body thanking yourself for changing your lifestyle for the rest your life. My focus in writing this is for the CrossFit Aspire and DT1 members who are on the verge of making serious lifestyle change. This is meant to be a guide of what is and what is not Paleo. This will not be all-inclusive, and if questions arise feel free to contact me.
Now, what exactly is Paleo? My favorite description that I have come across thus far:
“Paleo is the blueprint for healthy living and is still rooted in the food: Choose sustainable, nutrient dense foods, locally sourced when possible and good for you above all else; eliminate inflammatory foods, avoiding unnatural, heavily processed foods and administering a turn of the back to sugar, gluten, and grains.”
Starchy vegetables (ie: yams, sweet potatoes, Yucca, tapioca, etc.)
Non-starchy vegetables (anything green or colored in produce section)
Traditional fats (coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, Kerry gold butter (for our challenge it is ok), duck fat, lard, etc.)
Sea salt and spices.
Grains (including: “wheat, rice, cereal, oats, pseudograins, and nongluten grains like sorghum, teff, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, spelt, rye, barley, couscous, malt, graham flour, and so on. No bread, pasta, cereal, or PIZZA. And for now, don’t go shopping for gluten-free substitutes.”
Legumes (black beans, etc.)
Processed foods (almost everything in a box or a can!)
Sugar and all sweeteners in all forms
Any kind of soda
Any kind of fruit juice (unless you juice it yourself)
What’s the easiest way to be successful in this challenge? My best advice is to completely rid your homes of non-paleo items. Can’t be tempted if it isn’t there – Out of sight, out of mind!! I will be posting 4 different Paleo-friendly recipes that I regularly enjoy!! Check back next week!
Great Paleo resources:
He has shopping lists available if you sign up for his free registration.
If anyone has any questions about any foods or beverages feel free to email me!! Good luck!