Monday, February 21, 2011


This week I would like to talk to you about the different types of stress and how they affect the body and mental state of an athlete.  When I (Chuck) was in college, I took a course call "Police Problems" in my senior year.  I loved this class because that's when I learned about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Our group delivered a kick ass presentation that our professor loved on why managing stress in law enforcement is so important.  Sometime police officers are faced with single, traumatic events they have to manage during their day.   Other times there is an accumulation of experiences which affects the officers to points near or at depression.  Recovering from those experiences is nearly impossible without assistance from a mental health professional.  Let me tell you why I'm writing about this.

Although most of you are not law enforcement officers, each of you still has multiple stress factors in your lives in many forms including: CrossFit, daily commute to and from work, bills, gas station attendants, checking Facebook, updating status, checking email, managing employees, answering to your boss, project deadlines, creating spreadsheets, proof reading spreadsheets, waiting in the drive-thru at Starbucks and choosing black coffee or an extra hot, no foam, hazelnut latte, finding matching Tupperware containers & lids, LAUNDRY!,  diapers, story time, dinner, meal preparation, getting though the latest People magazine and finally - ME!  CHUCK!...I think that's enough.

These are common stress factors that most of us have in life.   How can CrossFit, known to be one of the most brutal strength & conditioning programs on the planet, help alleviate anything in your life?

The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Dr. Len Kravitz & Maria-Victoria Montes in the February 2011 Idea Fitness Journal.

The Buffering Effect of Exercise on Stress
The most comprehensive recent review on the health benefits of exercise and physical activity comes from the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, 2008 published that year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  This report concluded that physical activity can protect against feelings of distress, defend against symptoms of anxiety, guard against depressive symptoms and the development of major depressive disorder and enhance psychological well-being.  Additionally, exercise bouts of 30 minutes, but not longer than 60 minutes appear to have the best "stress-reducing" benefits (thank God for Fran and Fight Gone Bad!).  There does not appear to be a differential effect based on the type of exercise (e.g., running swimming, cycling, elliptical training, etc.).  As to exercise intensity, the Physical Activity Guidelines report indicates that moderate to vigorous physical activity (with regular participation) reduces stress better than low-intensity activity.   Yes to WODs!

There are definitely positive adaptations to a regular strength & conditioning program and I'm sure you've heard all of them.  The following stress management suggestions are from an article in IDEA by Melissa Stoppler, MD (2008), and can be found on  

1. Exercise.  Provides a distraction from stressful situations, as well as an outlet for frustration.  In many ways it acts as a buffer to the overflow of hormones that accumulate from daily stress.  There is little I can focus on when suffering through one of Dan or Lindsay's WODs, and I like it that way.    

2. Meditation. Stoppler suggests that in a medictactive state, deep centering occurs with a focusing on the core of our being; this allows for quieting of the mind and emotions, which helps relax tension in the body.  During meditation, the brain enters an area of functioning similar to sleep, but with added benefits that we cannot achieve in any other state such as the release of certain hormones that promote health.   Perfect advertising op for yoga at CFH - 5:45 AM Thursday.  

3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation. Progressive muscle relaxation involves tightening and then releasing of the muscles in the body (in succession).  If one of us trainers has an extra minute or two, we'd be happy to give you a quick stretch in the hammies, shoulders and quad/hip flexors.  

4. Time Management.  One of the biggest causes of stress is poor time management.  Good organization of time is central to effective stress control.  By learning to prioritize tasks and avoid overcommitment, we avoid the stress of being over-scheduled, with too many responsibilities at work and in the family.  Stoppler recommends using a daily planner and calendar to prioritize tasks and stay focused on those at hand; identifying regular time-wasting activities (Facebook is NOT time-wasting!) and eliminating them; and banishing procrastination. 

5. Support Systems.  According to Stoppler, studies indicate that people with a positive and helpful social structure - consisting of friends, family, loved ones and pets (and CrossFitters!) - experience fewer stress related symptoms.  Where's Brad anyway?

6. Healthy Food & Drink.  Dehydration and hunger tend to provoke feeling of stress and anxiety (When I get hungry I get so angry, but when I'm dehydrated, I feel depressed.  Weird, I know). Drinking plenty of water throughout the day and eating a nutritious diet can help  reduce stress.  At least 100 ounces a day for most people.  

7. Posture Check.  Shelly has GREAT posture.  I have moderately accurate posture.  Shelly does a lot more yoga than I do too.  I've was actually diagnosed with juvenile scoliosis when I was 10.  Since then, I've had to work on standing straight and keeping my shoulder back, down and relaxed.  When I was little, I was really self conscious of my massively developed chest.  I would try to hide it by hunching over.  Now, I hunch over because I'm tired of people trying to touch it and grope me all the time (kidding).  However, poor standing and sitting posture lead to muscle tension, pain and increased stress.  Stress management strategies include checking posture regularly at work and during daily activities; avoiding stooping, slumping and repetitive-strain activities/movements; and developing healthily sitting, standing and working environments.   

8. Recharging.  Recharging means setting aside some time each day for energizing the mind.   This is hard for many because there is no extra time in the day.  Normally on my commute to work, I'll turn the radio off and find a way to just let my mind either wander (which isn't too hard) or meditate on one intention (which is actually very difficult for me).  I like to listen to audiobooks on my way to work which resonate with me.   

9. Speaking slowly.  Yea, who knew?  Speaking slowly can be helpful in stressful situations.  When we speak slowly, we think more clearly and often respond much more reasonably to a stressful situation.  Like my grandmother Degatano always said "Charlie, you always catch more bees with honey than vinegar."   

10. Visualization.  Gratifying or relaxing images calm the mind and body.  Visualizing a soothing setting (e.g., outdoors in a meadow, by the ocean, along a mountain stream) while breathing slow, controlled way brings about a state of calm and relaxation.  Like I always say, "The slower you go, the fast you'll get there." (I think I stole that from someone, but I don't remember who)

And if none of this is working for you, I'll always recommend my default stress reliever.

4 ounces Spicy V-8
4 ounces Monopolowa
Splash of Worcestershire
Dash of pepper
Celery stick
season rim to task

And 1 Ashton VsG cigar

Sounds good, doesn't it?


Kravitz, Len & Montes, Maria-Victoria. 2011. Unraveling the stress eating obesity knot.  IDEA Fitness Journal, 44-50 

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Sunshine Vitamin...A Hot Topic: What You Need to Know About Vitamin D, Part II

By Rosemary Barrow, B.S. Exercise Science, NASM Certified Personal Trainer

In the first part of this article, the focus points were on the significance and role of vitamin D as it pertains to human health and disease prevention, and how we can attain optimal levels in our bodies through adequate UVB sunlight exposure, consuming appropriate animal or animal-based food sources (i.e., salmon, tuna, mackerel, fish oils, egg yolks, and some cheeses), and through supplementation. Lately it seems every other study published in health news is boasting the amazing breakthroughs in vitamin D research. The overwhelming amount of relative information in this area is deepening our understanding of this hormone's powerful effect on our ability not only to thrive but to survive, it seems—rather timely considering that roughly 60% of Americans have low levels of or are vitamin D deficient, according to a study published in the March 2010 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. In fact, vitamin D deficiency “may be the common denominator behind our most devastating modern degenerative diseases,” according to Mike Adams, editor of Natural News Network. Individuals suffering from kidney failure, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and multiple sclerosis are almost always universally deficient in the sunshine vitamin. 

Our health as a nation is disintegrating in a nasty downward spiral. Modern lifestyles lend themselves to behaviors and circumstances that reduce our potential for attaining ideal levels of vitamin D, among other health-giving factors. We spend more time indoors, whether it's work or play, thus reducing our sunlight exposure. When we are outside we slather on the sunscreen, once again reducing our chances of soaking up those necessary UVB rays that allow us to manufacture enough cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) in our skin. Our diets are severely lacking in both quality of content and in vitamin D-rich foods. To make things more interesting, there's a sea of misinformation in all forms of media as well as rampant over-medication and lack of quality healthcare. So in light of these latest findings, we could come to a few simple conclusions: Get more healthy sun exposure, exercise regularly, eat “real food” (you know, the kind that comes out of the ground, off of a tree, or from an animal that eats these same things), and then maybe we won't even need to supplement! While these are pretty clear-cut, well-founded conclusions, it's worth considering a few more details and asking a few more questions. If optimal vitamin D levels are so integral to our well-being, how then do we optimize this component of health?

There are many factors that determine your vitamin D status as well as your ability to make and properly utilize it. As mentioned in Part I of this article, age, weight, body fat percentage, latitude of where you live, skin coloration, season, use of sunscreen, and individual sun exposure are the major determinants. Here are some general rules of thumb that are easy to remember:

·      Older individuals need more vitamin D than younger individuals.
·      Big people need more than smaller people.
·      Heavier people need more than skinny people.
·      Individuals living in northern latitudes (above 35 N latitude—we're just above the 45 N latitude) need more than those in southern latitudes (below 35 N latitude & closer to the equator).
·      Darker complected people need more than fairer complected people.
·      Sunblock users need more than those who forgo the sunblock.
·      “Sunphobes” need more than sun worshipers.
·      Ill individuals need more than well individuals.

So how do you know if you're making or getting enough vitamin D? The most accurate and reliable way is through a blood test administered by your doctor or by obtaining a home test kit from ZRT Laboratories (available through that measures 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D. This tests for calcidiol in the blood, a pre-hormone and storage form of vitamin D in our bodies that's made in the liver. The Vitamin D Council states that optimal levels of 25(OH)D for health and disease prevention fall between 50-80 ng/ml (125-200 nM/L), and some estimates have been as high as 100 ng/ml. These are the values you want to look for when you receive your test results. According to the Vitamin D Council, about 20% of U.S. doctors order the wrong test. In this case they're measuring 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D which measures calcitriol, the most potent steroid in our bodies, and is more a measure of kidney function than an accurate reflection of vitamin D status. This particular pre-hormone is an adaptive hormone and fluctuates with calcium intake, so test results of this could show normal or even high levels but a vitamin D deficiency could still exist.

Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council suggests taking 1,000 IU per 25 pounds of body weight for eight weeks and then testing. At that point, depending on your results, you can adjust accordingly for any variable (i.e., sun exposure, food sources, supplementation) that affects vitamin D levels. Dr. Cannell estimates that “each 1,000 IU increase in supplemental vitamin D will generally produce a 10 ng/ml increase in the vitamin D blood level.” These are general recommendations so it's important to note that we all differ somewhat physiologically and in our vitamin D receptor (VDR) capabilities. When using supplements, be sure to test blood levels every several months to monitor your status.

Making and consuming enough vitamin D may be essential to our ability to thrive and survive, as suggested by researchers at Oregon State University in the conclusion to a study they published in August 2009. They discovered a vitamin D-mediated immune response encoded and conserved in the genome of “every primate species ever examined for its presence, ...and did not disappear long ago through evolutionary variation and mutation.”  This genetic marker is “shared only by primates, including humans – but no other known animal species” and the fact that it “is still found in species ranging from squirrel monkeys to baboons and humans, suggests that it must be critical to their survival...” the researchers said.

We have an “innate immune response” that occurs immediately, as with a cut or infection, as well as an “adaptive immune response” associated with the exposure to new pathogens whereby antibodies are formed and retained for future defense. The OSU researchers are studying a specific type of genetic material which composes over 90% of the human genome and “is believed to play a major role in the proper function of the "innate" immune system in primates” in that it “allows vitamin D to boost [this response] by turning on an antimicrobial protein. The overall effect may help to prevent the immune system from overreacting.” Another study led by Professor Carsten Geisler from the Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Copenhagen, also discovered that vitamin D “activates the immune system by 'arming' T cells to fight off infections” and without vitamin D, these cells “remain dormant.” This has very important implications in the prevention and treatment of autoimmune and degenerative diseases.

Another characteristic of this system that sets it apart from other steroid hormones is its potential to prevent and fight cancer cells. When cholecalciferol/D3 is produced in the skin there are two initial  pathways it takes—first, conversion to calcidiol in the liver (storage from of vitamin D) and then to calcitriol in the kidneys (to regulate calcium in the blood). If enough cholecalciferol has been made to satisfy the requirements for both pathways, any excess calcitriol is sent to other tissues (i.e., organ, organ systems) that can continue independently making more of it in order to fight cancer cells. No other steroid hormone system works this way. To ease any concern regarding vitamin D toxicity, it should be added that this is an extremely rare occurrence. To read more on this topic, visit the Vitamin D Council's website at

So what all this means is you may have some “vitamin D homework” to do, and now that you're a more informed consumer, it's time to get outside more this year to enjoy the beautiful Oregon spring and summer weather!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Sunshine Vitamin...A Hot Topic: What You Need to Know About Vitamin D, Part I

By Rosemary Barrow, B.S. Exercise Science, NASM Certified Personal Trainer

I think you might dispense with half your doctors if you would only consult Dr. Sun more. 
~Henry Ward Beecher

If you've been tuning in at all to the latest buzz in both conventional and alternative medicine, you've probably noticed the newest research involving vitamin D has elevated “the sunshine vitamin” to star status in the health and medical communities. Though technically not a vitamin but a group of five fat-soluble steroid hormones (D1-D5), more specifically hormone precursors known collectively as calciferol, maintenance of an optimal vitamin D level in the body is now more than ever being identified as a cornerstone in the foundations of disease prevention and treatment, as well as in overall well-being. Go figure right? It doesn't take a panel of scientists and doctors or a slew of research to tell us being in the sun makes us feel better. But what these most recent findings reveal are some insight as to why we are so naturally drawn to sunlight; why it fosters a sense of well-being. The fact that there is a vitamin D receptor (VDR) in virtually every cell of our bodies should attest to the integral role this hormone, most readily produced through UVB sunlight exposure, plays in influencing health status.

What does vitamin D do in our bodies?
Adequate vitamin D must be present in order for calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body, to be converted into its ionized (usable) form. It's long been known that its presence is also necessary for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus, and for the re-absorption of calcium by the kidneys, all processes that determine proper bone mineralization and muscle contraction. Once bio-available calcium from food enters the small intestine, it interacts with vitamin D and calcium-binding proteins and is then absorbed through the intestine wall for use in the body—99% of which is directed to the bones and the remaining 1% to the blood. It's important to note that this 1% entering the blood is a crucial component in the bio-electric activity of every single cell in the body. Given that we are essentially bio-electromagnetic beings, the significance of 1% is pretty profound! Calcium inside cells determines ideal pH levels that, together with extracellular fluid pH, create a voltage that allows for the appropriate uptake of nutrients and expulsion of waste through cell walls—the most basic operations of our cells.

So, if optimal vitamin D levels are lacking and not enough calcium can be absorbed, the body enters into an increasingly acidic state paving the way for disease to set in. In this way, vitamin D is a key factor in the prevention of certain kinds of cancer, hypertension (high blood pressure), types 1 and 2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, depression, osteoporosis, and inflammatory diseases such as heart disease and arthritis. It is also fundamental to the regulation of the immune system and gene activity.  When calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D in the body, binds to a VDR this pairing determines DNA expression (the turning “on” and “off” of genes) affecting over 2,000 genes, accounting for 10% of the human genome and thus directing the activity of hundreds of enzymes and proteins—and this is just one action involving vitamin D!

How do we get vitamin D?
If this wonder vitamin is so critical to our health and wellness how, you may ask, do we attain optimal levels in our bodies? There are three ways in which we can harness the power of this potent steroid hormone. The first and easiest (and free!) way is by getting adequate sun exposure, more specifically, enough exposure to UVB rays which are required for the formation of cholecalciferol, or vitamin D3 (vitamin D in our skin). In mid-day summer sun exposure for 20-30 minutes (an ideal situation) it is possible to produce approximately 10,000-50,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D3/cholecalciferol in the skin. The minimum amount indicated here is 50 times the U.S. recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 200 IU! Ironically, the very time frame we've been strongly advised to avoid (mid-day 10am-3pm) is the ideal time for maximum UVB exposure and minimal UVA exposure, the type of UV light associated with melanoma (the deadliest skin cancer). It's also been advised that we constantly slather on the sunscreen during this window of mid-day sun but doing so blocks up to 95% of vitamin D-producing UVB rays. This is not to say that sunscreen use should be avoided for prolonged periods of time spent in the sun, but then again prolonged exposure isn't recommended in general. Several factors are key in determining more precisely how much vitamin D each of us requires to reap its health-giving benefits. These include age, body weight, body fat percentage, skin coloration, current season of the year, latitude of where one resides, use of sunscreen, and of course individual sun exposure. This is a topic that will be expounded upon in Part II of this article.

The second way we can get vitamin D is through our diets. Cholecalciferol (D3) and ergocalciferol (D2), to a lesser extent, are the most important forms for humans. As a general rule vitamin D2 is found mainly in plants (i.e., mushrooms) and, as stated, vitamin D3 is made in our skin or obtained through eating certain animal and animal-based foods, such as fatty fish (i.e., salmon, tuna, mackerel), fish liver oils (best sources), and in lesser amounts, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Many foods in our modern diet are fortified with vitamin D but this does not guarantee the proper absorption and assimilation of this precious nutrient when taken out of its natural context. When you consider that a vast majority of calories in the American diet are from processed foods, by which the very nature of their manufacturing implies the depletion of inherent nutritional value, there is cause for question as to the efficacy of fortified foods including those fortified with vitamin D. If it must be synthetically added to a food source not found in nature, to what extent and how well can it be utilized by our bodies?

This leads us to the third and final source of vitamin D: supplementation. For individuals who do not receive adequate sun exposure or regularly consume vitamin D-rich food sources, supplementation is an alternative and often necessary way of obtaining its health and disease-preventing properties. The Vitamin D Council's recommendation states that “healthy children under the age of 1 year should take 1,000 IU per day—over the age of 1, 1,000 IU per every 25 pounds of body weight per day” and “well adults and adolescents should take 5,000 IU per day.”

For now, it's important to remember that the preferred and superior sources for the manufacturing of vitamin D in humans, respectively, are through adequate exposure to UVB rays in sunlight and via the appropriate animal or animal-based food sources previously mentioned. Part II will also highlight how vitamin D in the body contributes to disease prevention, how to test for healthy levels in the blood, as well as some surprising new information about this vital hormone that further validates its significance with regard to human health and survival.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Read THIS Before You Sign a Gym Membership

* What is the Pacific Personal Training/CrossFit Hillsboro difference? *
Not to be confused with a gym, our model is not and never will be an open gym concept. We are a personal training studio that emphasizes one-on-one sessions and small group personal training in the form of CrossFit classes.  We are the “anti-gym”. We do not compete against Bally’s, 24 Hour Fitness, or L.A. Fitness.  We have NO membership fees, initiation fees, or long term contracts.  Here, you will not find mirrors, juice bar, flat screens, or a sauna.
We only charge for training, because that’s all we do.  Whether you are in for a one-on-one session with your trainer or a CrossFit session, you are receiving world-class coaching, programming, motivation and accountability you would expect from a personal trainer.  We compete against personal trainers, not gyms. 
In speaking with one of our gals today about what it would take to get her into class more often, she revealed to me that she was holding onto her family membership at the gym, although her family rarely used it.  The monthly price was relatively inexpensive and it was convenient to take her son there for swimming lessons, but…(What she said next was the clincher)…She confessed that working out there was nothing like working out with us.  AND, that she is experiencing awesome results with us AND actually misses working out with us on the days she isn’t here!  Why is this a big deal, you may ask?  Well, let me ask you, why do you work out?  If you are like most people, you would say that it’s because you want to look great and feel great.  If you aren’t seeing results on your own, even if you are only paying $30-$50/month, is it worth it to you?  Everyone at the highest level of their game works with a trainer. That is where we come in. We provide elite level training and coaching for a very affordable price. The community support and camaraderie is just a very nice bonus.  In keeping our group classes small, we are better able to take care of each person’s individual needs, such as adjusting for modifications, pushing you a little bit harder, as well as ensuring your safety.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but your gym actually prefers that you don’t use your membership.  It costs them $ when you do!  They’ll still go on and debit your checking account each month regardless.  You won’t receive a phone call wondering where you’ve been and when you’re coming back.  They do not want to “awaken the sleeping giant” as they call it.  If you show up they actually have to work! 
WE don’t want your money unless you are reaping the benefits of your membership.  There’s no satisfaction in that for us.
Considering that the typical cost for a one hour personal training session can run anywhere between $50-$100, an unlimited monthly membership at CrossFit Hillsboro is an amazing bargain!  It breaks down to less than $10 per session, to be exact, if you are attending 4 classes per week. 
You get the best deal in town training at PPT/CH. We do not sell you any of these amenities and we never plan to. We only sell you the personal training. Come and get coached, break your previous records, have your friends push you beyond your limits. Everyone who trains at PPT/CH consistently surpasses all expectations they came in with. Everyone succeeds! There are no exceptions. If you do not want to make the commitment to training here every day, you can do both. Go to your regular gym and come to us 2x or 3x a week for your training. Come to PPT/CH for a monthly seminar, event, competition or Saturday workout. Come every day and be in the best possible shape of your life- GUARANTEED.  Contact us for your free 7-day pass and experience what you've been missing. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

We're Growing...Again!

     For the second time this year, we deemed it necessary to acquire an additional 1000 square feet of space, bringing our size to 4500 SQUARE FEET!  We were able to coerce one of our neighbors to move to a different suite.  This past weekend, Chuck worked his fingers to the bone with the help of Nick and Sara Sader of Western Ventures Construction, to have the studio ready for business as usual Monday morning.  Walls were demoed, drywall and insulation covered the floors, dust settled into every crack and crevice, but you'd never know it stepping foot inside.  They did an amazing job (Chuck even painted the floors!)

     It's almost surreal to walk through the doors and think, "This is all ours."  And every last square inch of it will be used.
     When Chuck brought me to the business park in the summer of '08 to show me the space he picked out for Pacific Personal Training, I walked in and thought, "Oh my goodness, this is huge!  How are we ever going to use all this space?"  That was 2500 sq. ft.  The evolution of PPT/CH is truly our dream coming true before our eyes;  one which would be impossible without the support of our amazing guests.   The words 'thank you' aren't enough to express the gratitude we feel for you all.  We're not even close to our final vision, though.  There is so much that we have in store: massage, group exercise studio with yoga, kickboxing, cycling, juice bar, sauna, hot tub, oh...SHOWERS/locker rooms fully stocked with amenities.  Where's the line between small, intimate studio and big, impersonal gym? (Because we don't want to cross it.)

We've extended our lease through 12/31/11, and we're ready to rock 'n roll!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why am I so damned hungry? Resting Metabolic Rate

As we're all approaching the end of our strength microcycle in our CrossFit classes, many of you by now have got the be thinking "why the hell am I so damed hungry? And how am I supposed to lose weight if I'm eating all of the time?"  Valid points.  let's hope I know what I'm talking about......

All of you have heard of the crazy buzz word "Metabolism" (MB).   What is the metabolism though and what does it mean when people have a "high or low" metabolism?  MB is the combination of two reactions  in your body: 1) The break down of food to store as fuel and; 2) The use of that same stored energy to use as fuel.  Without getting into the details of what affects the MB, like thyroid, hypothalamus, food intake, etc, I'll try to keep this as straight forward as possible.

Strength training places huge metabolic demands on the entire body like the muscles, bones, connective tissues, cardiovascular system, etc.  When the body is under the stress of external loads when weight training, it's screaming at you (louder than I do)  saying, "What the hell are you doing to me!"  Well, those screaming mus-kles are going to need quite a bit of energy to repair themselves.  If you were to look at those same mus-kles during a WOD, it would look literally like a war-zone with oozing, tearing, seeping & building going on.  Those cells need a load of energy & oxygen to repair themselves, but where do they get that energy from?   Like the plant in Little Shoppe of Horror man eating plant says, "FEED ME!"

For the body to build and repair the damaged tissues, it's first going to require lots of oxygen to keep the fire burning (a fire needs oxygen to burn, right?).  When your body is in the state of rebuilding itself after a WOD, you are usually at rest, or in active recovery (not working out).  During this time your are in what's called your "oxidative" or "aerobic" state where the majority of calories supplied for fuel come from stored, adipose (fat) tissue.  This fat has loads of calories and and is a great source of energy for the body to access as fuel, given it's location in and around the damaged muscle/cells.   While at rest after a WOD, the body is simply churning through body fat for fuel and this energy source can only be burned when enough oxygen is present.  Resting, recovering, sleeping is when you will burn the greatest amount of body fat as a result of your WODs.  You will however burn a BIT of body fat (not too much) during our WODs, but it just takes too long to break down fat for quick energy during "Kalsu",  "7's" or 300.    

When your body is constantly breaking down fat for fuel, repairing damaged cells and performing countless other metabolic reactions, the requirement for calories becomes even higher (double wammy).  Your heart beats a little faster to supply oxygen to your muscles, your body temperature rises slightly and your body fat starts singing taps.   You'll have to eat more to provide amino acids, carbohydrates most importantly, water to sustain body functions during repair.  This is the reason for the incredible success each of you have had as a result of a well designed, periodized, strength & conditioning program.  

So, forget what those silly charts say on the treadmills at Globe-O-Gym that tell you to keep your heart rate at 100 BPM if you want to lose body fat.  Instead, pull the tether cord, get off the machine and pick up a barbell for some deadlifts, cleans and snatches.  

So, don't be afraid to eat something even though you're trying to lose body fat.  If you want to lose more, eat more, and CrossFit too.

Hugs and hamsters,


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Too excited to sleep


It 2:30 AM and I'm way too excited to sleep.  We just got our first snow fall of the season last night and although it's about 1/2 and inch, that means I finally have an excuse to put my truck into 4 wheel drive.  ARRR ARRR UUUUU ARRRR!

I have to admit, I'm also pretty pumped about how all of you did today in that double WOD class.  What a showing of heart and perseverance! I love it!  Check out this video of one of tonight's evening class.

Honestly, why am I too excited to sleep?  First of all it's namely because I'm feeling so grateful this week about all of the blessing in our lives, especially over this past year.  Personally, professionally and spiritually, we've been blessed abundantly and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Last years Turkeu Bowl 

I don't have any new topic that I want to address with each of you.  I'm not going to turn this into a sappy introduction to get your attention to buy something nor am I going to tell you about "hydration hydration, yada, yada yada...."   I'm just going to tell you that I'm (we) are forever thankful for each of you whom are reading this and can only hope our efforts of everything we do have at least somewhat impacted your life a least a little bit.  Everyone from Shirley to Kara, Steve to Shack and Lauren to Melinda (yes, you too) - we wouldn't be here doing what we are today without you.

Look at this guy!   

I know it's hard to show up day after day to these workouts which can humble the strongest of women (Allison) and men (Melinda - just kidding, Bro!) and the fact that you still do it, for yourselves, for your families, for your future, speaks volumes about your 3D: Desire, Discipline & Dedication.  How much different are you this year as a result of your 3D in the studio?  What were you doing this time last year? Globe-O-Gym?  Bis & Back?  Calfs & Abs?  Could you even imagine doing that now?  Allison just told me she went to Globe-O-Gym the other day and pulled her quad! See, CrossFitters?  Stay away from Globe-O-Gym!  (Actually, it's better than doing nothing at all, and I'm always going to encourage physical activity.  I would just prefer that it's within the walls of PPT & CFH)

Okay, I hope you all know by now how much of an emotional sap I am (if you didn't already).  I'm going to now Hulu Oprah's very last favorite things episode.  Don't forget to buy a bottle of Udo's from us either.

Chuck G.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Am Not A Runner (or The Tiny Change That Changed Everything)

Sure, I know how to run.  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, pick up the pace, and pretty soon, your body has no choice but to break into a faster clip so you don't fall over.  However, running efficiently, now that's an entirely different story.  Whether or not you like to run, chances are, at some point (and if you are a CrossFitter, many points) in your life you will have to run.  Maybe after your toddler who bolted out into the street, maybe to catch a bus, or to snag the killer deal on the 47"flat screen on Black Friday at 4am.  Hopefully, it's just not from somebody.

It's true how they say that running helps to clarify your thoughts.  Some people claim to get their best ideas during a run, or solve a problem they've had on their mind.  Well, I'm here to tell 'ya, that's exactly what happened to me today.

Chuck's truck kicked the bucket on his way home from the studio last night, so today we're operating on one car while his is in the shop.  I volunteer on Wed. mornings in Gabe's class (about 2 miles away).  I really enjoy it and didn't want to miss it, so I layered up, charged the iPod and hit the road...the wet, slushy, leaf covered road.

It was on my way home that I had an epiphany.  It was raining.  My iPod was going to die any minute.  I  had to pick up the pace.  Know what I did?  Groundbreaking here, people, so listen closely...
I pushed forward.  That's right, pushed.  Forward.  With each step.  Rather than moving just up/down, I pushed forward.  Literally.  I wasn't necessarily expending much more energy, but realized I was, in fact, moving faster!

And here's the best part.  I got to thinking about how this was a metaphor for life:
Sometimes we feel like we're working very hard and doing a lot of 'work' to reach our goals, but take a step back and think about whether you are doing the correct type of work to get there.  Sometimes, it takes just a tiny shift or change to make significant progress.  I felt like I was working hard at my run this morning; I was (eventually) going to get home.  I was sweating and breathing heavily.  BUT, I made one very tiny change and it made a huge difference!  I was working smarter, not harder.  I reached my goal (making it home before I was drenched and iPod gave out) faster and more efficiently.

We see a lot of this type of 'spinning of the wheels' or the 'gerbil in the cage' scenarios in our line of business.  You probably know people yourself who have been busting their butts for weeks, months, even YEARS and have seen no significant progress in their health/physique.
I can't help but feel frustrated when I see this.  Because I (along with our entire world-class team) am in the business of changing lives.  I want to help those people, but can't do it until they realize they aren't going to get their on their own, and reach out for help.
When you learn to work smarter, not harder, you can ditch the 60 minute 'cardio' routines, and the 45 minute strength training sessions focusing on 1-2 muscle groups/day.  No longer will you need to count calories or points or blocks.
What we provide at Pacific Personal Training/CrossFit Hillsboro is hands down, the most efficient way to achieve optimal health and your very BEST body, in the shortest amount of time by working under the care of professionals who make it safe, fun, encouraging, supportive and RESULTS-DRIVEN.

2010 is quickly coming to an end.  Many people will begin refocusing on their workout/diet regimen come January.  If that's you, or you know someone who has been talking about getting healthy, let us help you!
Why wait until January 1st?  Get a head start.  It's very important to stay focused through the holidays, so as not to become a statistic (you know, how the average American gains up to 10 lbs. during the holidays, yadda yadda yadda).

Beginning Monday, November 29th, we kick off our '21-Day Rapid Fat Loss' contest.  The program runs through Dec. 20th with the grand prize winner being awarded $250 cash or a $300 personal training package! 

Now go out there and  'Push Forward'!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Burpee Accountability Rule

Monday night classes hardly have anyone in them, wouldn't you agree?  Okay, so that's not entirely true.
While there may be only 14 signed up online and we try to limit classes to 15, 20 may actually show up.  While we CAN make it work, we really have to begin to enforce our capacity rule with a burpee strategy.  
Monday nights are usually our busiest class.  What have been trying to do, and what will become a policy is to have multiple instructors in our larger classes.   We will have a minimum of two instructors on Monday nights, and any other one that reaches capacity.  So where do the burpees come in?  That's the best part!

The burpee rule is a great way to enforce accountability for everyone.  Here are the rules:

Show up to class without signing up = 30 burpees
Show up 2 minutes late to class = 30 burpees
Show up 10 minutes late to class = 30 burpees
Dropping dumbbells, kettlebells or empty bar = 10 burpees (we will add this to your final WOD time)
Dropping 'F'Bomb = 30 burpees (Totally kidding.  I think Chuck should do 30 burpees every time someone drops an 'F'Bomb)  
"Can't" = 10 burpees
Cheating reps = 50 burpees + total embarrassment + time added to WOD

We're sure the list will grow and evolve over time, so this is just a start.  Some of you have approached us and told us about your concerns with class sizes, and we really appreciate this kind of feedback.  One has to think to themselves "this isn't what I signed up for when I first came to CFH".  This is true, and we are doing our best to accurately manage our growth.  With these larger classes, the individual attention become slightly more diluted, as expected.  While we cannot have a trainer for every client, we will offer multiple trainers.  Group training, or CrossFit, is by it's nature a class activity with one or two leaders.  Also, not every class is filled to capacity, especially those later in the week.  While we do encourage everyone to maximize their membership with us, we encourage you who do want a little more attention from a coach to attend these classes, such as Thursday & Friday.  The morning and afternoon classes also have space available as well, and everyone is welcomed to those.  

Finally, at PPT and CFH, we charge what we are worth.   We know that we are not the most inexpensive CrossFit Affiliate outside of Lake Oswego.  Our pricing is based on our broad, general and all-inclusive background as not only CrossFit instructors, but as nationally certified personal trainers, certified strength & conditioning specialists, certified group exercise instructors, certified USA weightlifting coaches and certified yoga practitioners.  With these accolades also comes the experience of working with all types of populations as trainers, group ex instructors and as professional head strength & conditioning coaches.  We also regularly attend fitness shows, conferences and continuing fitness education classes.  We don't under or devalue ourselves by cutting our prices just to attract more guests.  As professional trainers, we charge what we are worth, the same way as any other professional would, including physical therapists, chiropractors, doctors and attorneys.  

We are always glad to hear from you, whether it's good news or bad.  Bad news = 30 burpees.  

Your staff of professionals at
Pacific Personal Training/CrossFit Hillsboro   

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Inhibitions Be Gone!

"Uninhibited":  referred to by some as the 'Coochie Coo' dance class, 'Naughty Girl' dance class, 'the most fun you can have with your clothes on'.  Whatever you want to call it, we had a blast!  Many, many thanks to Andrea Trautwein for offering the use of her gorgeous studio.  It was fun to meet so many new ladies and to see you all let loose with the girls.  We dressed up in our sexy costumes and had a great time learning a new dance.  Thank you as well to Hip Chicks Do Wine for providing the reds and whites to help lighten the inhibitions a bit.

I'm looking forward to teaching another class (possibly in December), so keep an eye out for more information!