Coming off our nutrition challenges and talking with some of you about hitting macro nutrients to help with your training, I wanted to talk a little on how the body breaks down protein in an easy to understand way.
As stated in my "belly fat" email, Fats and Carbs are the energy source to power our body. Proteins are the building blocks to repair damaged muscles from getting shredded in our wods.
"I heard that I am suppose to eat one gram of protein per pound and the body can only absorb 20-30 grams of protein at a time, coach?!"
Once the stomach breaks down protein, it is broken down into Amino Acids... sound familiar?? We sell them! Hint hint. Get yours today for a low low price!! Haha These amino acids are the building blocks for the body. The small intestines then absorb these Aminos into the bloodstream for muscle growth and repair. We can even store some of the extra Aminos in our muscles for later use.
The small intestines can only absorb so much while gut is doing its thing, which is where folks start talking about limited protein absorption.
But...Different foods absorb at different rates in the body. You have all seen the whey proteins, plant based proteins, Casein, and isolates being sold. And of course you have all the variety of tasty foods out there with protein!
Whey Protein and Isolates get used the fastest where as casein and solid foods get used slower. "But how, coach?"
The presence of protein in the stomach stimulates the production of a hormone that delays “gastric emptying” (the emptying of the food from the stomach). This slows down intestinal contractions and thus how quickly the food moves through the small intestine, where nutrients are absorbed.
Basically our body buys us time to break down as much of of the protein we consume! The Body is pretty much a Bad A**!
So how much do we need?? A good general rule of thumb is to consume one gram per KILOGRMAM of body weight for the average Jane or Joe.
B U T!
We workout 4-6 times a week! We need more!
Our muscles are bigger and better! So we need more!
Some of us aren't so young anymore.... The older we get, the more protein we need to maintain our muscle! So we need more!
Now I want to give you an example of three things here and how timing of getting your protein isn’t that important as long as you are getting your daily needs to repair the body.
I eat multiple times a day. Each meal consisting of a good variety of protein, fats and carbs. I workout around 9am or during the afternoon classes, but because I have eaten a good hour before, I don’t necessarily need to gulp down my protein shake right away because I have already been processing my food and have some Aminos ready for action!
Sometimes though…I wake up, have a coffee or green tea and try to hit a workout. That is when I would need some tasty BCAA’s or fast digesting protein (which we also sell…cough cough) to help me out, post workout.
My younger brother has been on a vegan diet for over a year and is also fasting every day. Now... he goes to the absolute extreme and fasts for 23 hours and only eats as much as he can in a full hour. Literally has a table full of high quality, nothing processed, and almost 0 sugar (unless its from fruit or organic jams) and does not stop eating for 60 minutes!! Its pretty crazy to watch him! His body however has become accustomed to using the 23 hours to digest and get as much of the nutrients he can get. Alex does weightlifting, boxing, Yoga and sometimes you will see him in the gym working out with us. His body has adapted to use everything he puts in his body to work for him!
I get most of my protein from meats, eggs and shakes. He gets his from beans, lentils, quinoa, rice, tofu….pretty much everything else! Mine are tastier though…Haha.
Get your daily dose!
This one is a pretty common question that we hear, so you aren't alone! "My shoulder bothers me most days...what can I do??"
Shoulders are the bananas of our bodies and are easily beaten up! As I stated before in a previous email with handstands and pull-ups, our shoulders must be strong and stable enough to handle everything we throw at them.
Before I tell you what can be done to remedy the pain, We have to find the root of what could be causing the issue in the first place! Meaning…is there a problem with how you move the shoulder through a range of motion when we do a snatch, press, Kbs, deadlift, etc. We are so focused on moving that barbell that it is very easy not to notice that we slump our shoulders forward and cause a loose position in our shoulder joint!
Whenever we tell you to rotate the shoulders out in an overhead squat or pull the shoulder blades together when we say “big chest" in deadlifts, olympic movements, even ring rows... we are reducing the risk of injury. The shoulder is surrounded by muscles and nerves that can be trapped while we move it. Ever feel the pinky go numb as you overhead squat? Feel yourself losing strength as you press a bar up or do a pull-up ? Feel a twang of pain from a push or split jerk? You bet your booty something isn’t quite right in your position! So if you continue to move in ways that increase the risk of tweaking those shoulders... No Sh*t you are gonna be feeling it.
Now…I did say “reduce” the risk of injury. Just because you have perfect form at the beginning of a movement doesn’t mean it can’t go to crap once you begin the lift, finish the lift, or return for another rep. Also, if we are trying to lift something thats a little too heavy as we try for a PR, our form may be compromised! So be careful. us coaches usually catch the mistakes and ty to correct them as fast as we can see them, but sometimes its tough when we have 15 people moving in class. So grab our attention and ask if something looks off. We can tell and give you some advice.
Prime example - I am going for a heavy triple on a strict press- first one feels good! Good belly breath, shoulders were stable, head was neutral, bar stayed close to the nose, arms flew up fast, great finish position like a gymnast. I can lift the world like Atlas! Rep two goes up kiiiinda slow, slightly becoming afraid of the bar and pushing the head back and turning it to side like avoiding my moms kisses when I was in front of my friends in college….. Hips are a little in front of my body as I begin to arch my back, arms and shoulders shake like a hummingbird fluttering their wings… "Can I get that last one?? Did I just run a mile? Why am I so out of breath? I hope the coach isn’t looking. Anyways... Lets freakin do it!!” Giant breath in the chest and PUUUSSSSHH…arch my back like a contortionist…looks like I am doing a standing bench press! "I think I am almost there!" I am squeezing my eyes so tight praying for the bar to shake its way up! My strong arm is well ahead of the race! It taunts my weak arm and calls it names to give it the drive it needs to finish! A little war cry at the end for the final showdown with my bar!! BOOM…GOT IT!! Mann…my shoulder feels weird… why??
PAY ATTENTION TO HOW YOU MOVE!
Remedy for the pain!
Number 1. FIX HOW YOU MOVE!
Number 2. Warm up properly and mobilize. Take your time using bands, small plates, PVC’s and body weight movements before moving on to a bar. This goes for all major lifts. Even the squat!
Number 3: Move how you are suppose to move. I know I repeated it. It needs repeating : )
Number 4. Post workout mobility. Shoulders take a beating. Give them some love by spending a few minutes stretching after your workouts. Banded shoulder stretches are phenomenal! We have done them in class. Missed those days? Ask Anthony or myself!
Questions?? Ask Away! Want more scenarios? I’ll gladly give those out as well!
I was asked about breathing and how they always forget to breathe when they are solely focused on moving weights, swinging kettle bells, and flopping around boxes or pull-ups.
Don’t worry…you are not the only one. I hope I say “Breathe” enough on the daily workouts that you can start to hear me in your brain when I’m not even around. Thats your brain telling you you need to chill your roll and focus on your pacing.
Majority of CrossFit athletes only work up to 85% of full capacity when going through workouts. If they went 100% all the time, the body would be wrecked!! The CrossFit Open is a little different of course. You train all year long then push yourself to that awful feeling in your gut, get queasy, can’t feel your face cuz its tingling and numb and it feels like your world is going dark!! I don’t want to feel that with every workout…Gross!
When you go through these high intensity workouts long enough, you start to strategize with your strengths and weaknesses and then strategize with someone you are trying to beat as well. Lets take myself and Steven Andrews for example.
I know he is strong and is fast in workouts that involve a barbell and moving heavy things as quickly as possible. There is no way in hell I will be able to beat him. BUT... add a gymnastics movement and I may have a chance to catch up! So I choose my battle plan. Cycle through the weights with GOOD FORM….., take my time to breathe between reps or small sets of reps because I know its going to wind me fast, then I’ll be fresh for those HSPU, Pull Ups or T2B. I knock out my gymnasty movements quick! Then regain myself by breathing and controlling my heart rate. Then again I continue to control my breathing during my weakness phase of the workout to hopefully gain some ground and come out with a fast time!
NOW…Tell me if this is you. 3…2…1…GOOO. Balls to the wall, banging and clanging those heavy-ish deadlifts for a set of 15-21 reps…then Bam. You have to step back. HUUUUFFF and Suuuuck in wind because your belt is limiting your breathing. Maybe see some spots or static in the air. Guess what you just did. You held your breath or took tiny little “ssssiiii” of air between each rep. You essentially poisoned your body from lack of oxygen to those hard working muscles that need it!
Scenario two! Workout has 4 pretty terrible rounds. Two rounds going kind of smooth but slowly losing your cool! Your heart is pounding, breathing heavy, but lets try to hammer out another rep anyways. You get another clean, snatch, 10 more kettle bell swings or 5 more wall balls and let it go. Then you stare at it like its the root cause of your future death. Walk away or in circles and giving Anthony or myself the evil eye for coming up with such a suckfest of movements as we yell at you to pick it up. You say, "I’ll just get some water…that will refresh my beaten soul back to life!" Mind you, this is only a few seconds to 20 seconds. OKAY, New wind and the stars have aligned to open the gates of heaven! 3 more reps….Crap…..Crying ensues…
This happens over and over again. seconds add up, turning into minutes over the course of the workout. How can you remedy this.
DONT GO FULL OUT FROM THE GET GO!! Nerds!
Unless you are to the point where you can essentially guesstimate your time based on your strengths and weaknesses, know your overall limitations, and know when and where to focus on your breathing…Use the first round or first few minutes as a test. Take it easy and slowly build up. You will know where you can push it and where you need some extra time.
Morale of the story here, kids… is you guessed it. BREATHE! Focus on your breath and not so much on the movement (unless its to focus on FORM of course) to fuel your muscles and control your heart rate to make the Wod work in your favor!
QUESTIONS!?? ASSSSSK MEEEHHHHHH!!!