Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Quick and intense or long and slow?

Low vs High Intensity Exercise

A few years ago, you may remember many fitness professionals prescribing lower intensity activity to maximize fat loss.  Many fit people lowered the intensity of their workouts fearful that they were not burning fat.  Unfortunately, they were misled and many people still believe that low intensity activity is the best way to maximize fat loss.  The reality is that the activity that expends the most amount of calories will lead to the most amount of fat burned.

Yes, during lower intensity activity you will burn a higher percentage of fat and during higher intensity activity you will burn a higher percentage of carbohydrates or sugars.  But the important point to note is that during low intensity activity you are burning fat at a higher percentage of a lower amount of calories.  When you exercise at a lower intensity you are definitely expending less calories.  The selective use of fat as a fuel, specifically at lower intensities, does not translate into greater fat loss, regardless of how tempting it is to draw this conclusion.  The more important focus with regard to calories expended, is not the percentage of energy coming from fat, but rather the total volume of fat used and the total number of calories expended.  Let’s look at the math.   

At 60% max heart rate (easier intensity)
·      Approximately 50% of calories come from fat (50% from sugars)
·      Approximately 8 kcal/min are expended
·      60 minutes x 8 kcal/min = 480 total calories
·      50% x 480 kcal = 240 fat calories

At 80% max heart rate (more vigorous intensity)
·      Approximately 40% of calories come from fat (60% from sugars)
·      Approximately 11 kcal/min are expended
·      60 minutes x 11 kcal/min = 660 total calories
·      40% x 660 kcal = 264 fat calories

From these figures you can see how fitness leaders could have been misled.  If you were to examine only the first line, the percentage of fat being burned as fuel, you would definitely prescribe lower intensity activity.  However, if you examine the whole picture, it is clear that higher intensity activity definitely expends more calories and also more fat.  Here are some more statistics to convince you.

It takes approximately 3,500 calories to burn one pound of fat.  Compare the following exercise programs. 

Program A – Easier intensity (approximately 5kcal/min) – For example, easy walking
·      30 minutes of activity 3x/week
·      150kcal/session x 3x/week
·      450kcal/week
·      It would take 8 weeks to burn 1 pound of fat

Program B – Same intensity as above but for a longer duration
·      60 minutes of activity 3x/week
·      300kcal/session x 3x/week
·      900 kcal expended per week
·      It would take 4 weeks to burn 1 pound of fat

Program C – More vigorous intensity (approximately 10 kcal/min) – For example, jogging or power walking up and down hills
·      60 minutes of activity 3x/week
·      600kcal/session x 3x/week
·      1800 kcal expended per week
·      It would take 2 weeks to burn 1 pound of fat

If you followed Program A, it would take you eight weeks to burn one pound of fat!  Most people would give up by then!  If you could easily handle the higher intensity of Program C, wouldn't you prefer to just wait 2 weeks to burn off that pound of fat deposited around your waist, hips or thighs?  Remember though, if you can't handle the higher intensity of Program C, follow Program B, which means you can maintain the easier intensity but you just have to go longer. 

Time is definitely an issue for a lot of exercisers and most don't want to spend hours in the gym if they can get the same results in a shorter period of time. 

So, the bottom line is that if you want to maximize fat loss, you need to maximize the number of calories you expend.  An exercise physiologist's rule for fat loss is "Go as hard as you can, as long as you can, as often as you can!"  This type of prescription will definitely maximize fat loss; however, is generally not the safest route to take.

If you did follow this prescription, each training session may be so difficult that you dread each of your workouts and may have a difficult time adhering to your program.  You may find yourself skipping workouts, which of course will get you nowhere.  In addition, if you followed this prescription, you may also start to experience numerous injuries or illnesses because our body is not capable of going hard all the time.  So instead, the recommended fat loss prescription is one that includes all intensity training zones.  Sometimes you’ll go all out for shorter periods of time, and other times you’ll go for a longer duration with less intensity.  

Monday, July 26, 2010

Staying Cool in the Hot Weather

This week is going to be a hot one.  Sometimes we may have the A/C on and other times we may not.  The purpose for this is to train the body to adapt to exercise in various enviromental conditions and not just in a 72 degree studio.  We will practice responsibility during environmental training though.

Shelly and I lived in Vegas for two years and Chuck worked outdoors in construction for those two year....ouch.  Chuck knows all about staying hydrated in hot weather. 

"If you're not prepared for sun, it's temperatures can create a dangerous environment fo you," says Las Vegas trainer Hayley Hollander
Her are some of her tips:

Daily Hydration - An average person should consume roughly 100 ounces of water per day. Intake should increase during active parts of the day.

Prehydrate  - The best defense against heat illness, and the best way to ensure optimum performance is to drink at least 8 ounces of liquid right before training.

Break for Water - It is especially important during hot-weather training that both trainer AND client stay hydrated.  Try to drink 8 ounces of water at least once every 15 minutes.

Electrolytes - Gatorade, Pediolyte (I really like that stufff) and other electolyte drinks in moderation 1-2 hours before activity.  Taking these during exercise may not be useful.

For exercise lasting NO LONGER than 1 hour, water will be sufficient.   


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Helen on Steroids, Babbs, and Ice Packs

We have the coaches at CrossFit HEL to thank for the WOD today.  Babb, as most of you know, was a female athlete that trained out of their box who was a victim of domestic violence.  The Wod was written with the help of Babb's teammates.  IT was written in her honor and several other CF affiliates participated in the WOD along with the member of CrossFit HEl.

4 rounds for time.

4 rounds for time of:
10 Rotational KB Swings/arm (24kg/16kg)
20 Pull-ups
10 Box Jumps (32in./24in.)
30 Wall Ball Shots (20/14)
7 Power Cleans (BW/ 3/4BW)
40 Double Unders
100m Tire Drag (95/70)

37 athletes passed through our doors to participate in the morning WODs.  Thank you so much for your dedication, drive, determination and continued support.  

Quite a few people said that this was one of the most challenging WODs they had completed, and a few even dry-heaved at the end.

I hope that I'm not the only one hurting from Helen on Steroids.  Today is the first day that I can actually straighten out my arms after that damned workout.  I think I'm getting soft (according to Melinda anyway).  I spent all week icing my arms and soaking in a couple epsom salt baths.  In hindsight, I didn't stretch out afterwards because I'm a moron, and I didn't ice that night either.  Apparently I have no business being an owner and coach.  Kam sa ha nee da. (Korean).

Raise your hand if you want arms like Womanimal Melinda.

Recently, many new people have drank the koolaid at CFH, like Alison.  It's great to have her and all of the new athletes in classes.  Each one of you is an inspiration to us and we want you to know that we are her only to serve you.

Finally, it's over! 

How bad ass is this shot?

Ooo, and another first this week, the CFH-HR got her first rope climb.  What an amazing feeling. 

And finally, Gabe got a rockin' hair cut.  
P.S. - the stair stepper will be here on Monday for those of you who want some extra cardio.  And apparently we're buying a cargo net?


The WOD was written with the help of Babb's teammates.  It was written in her honor and several other CF facilities will be participating in this WOD with us across the nation.  Babb was truly and deeply loved.

4 rounds for time of:
10 Rotational KB Swings/arm (24kg/16kg)
20 Pull-ups
10 Box Jumps (32in./24in.)
30 Wall Ball Shots (20/14)
7 Power Cleans (BW/ 3/4BW)
40 Double Unders
100m Tire Drag (95/70)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Another "Kalsu", "FGB", Daily Doubles & "Skunk"

It's a little sideways.  I added our own vinyl logo to the back on mine.  Those vinyl window decals, made by our own CFH athlete Julie Craig are just $10.  They look great on vehicles.  

This has been one of the harder weeks we have had in a while.  After coming off of our recovery week last week, we wanted to challenge the athletes and push them to their limits.
We offered the option for individuals to go through daily double workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and a single workout of "Kalsu" on Tuesday, and CFT's on Thursday.  I believe most everyone one was still at, if not very close to their previous CFT numbers from our strength challenge 2 months ago.  I'm very proud of everyone.

Thursday,  we had the pleasure hearing from a figure show competitor, Kim Goeden, talk about her experiences and lifestyle.  It was quite an eye opener for some of our ladies and for me too (Chuck).  Two of our athletes have goals of participating in a figure show in 12 weeks.  Good luck Brad and Dan.

We finally got our weight sled yesterday and wodbooks after about 3 years of waiting for them.  Both are at the studio and will definitely not collect any kind of dust.

Saturday's wod = "SKUNK".  Lindsay made this one up last year sometime and I felt we just needed to revisit this:
5 Thrusters
7 Hang Power Cleans
20min AMRAP
As Jflood said "Melinda = Womanimal"

If anyone knows of a good space that we can move into, by all means, let us know because it's getting a little cramped in here.  Let's just make it a co-op and we can all buy in for a building of our own.  

JFlood in action during our FGB.

KBar and Kbaehr working on core after her WOD.  Nothing like atomic push-ups to finish off with.

Friday, July 2, 2010

"Kalsu", MLP's shoes, and that darned circuit on Wednesday

MLP's CrossFit Frees 

This week marks the 4th week of our metcon phase.  I had to rethink the length of the metcon phase after Hip Hop Nation Power Hour last night.  Though metcons are fun and functional, they do come at a price of sacrificed strength.  We have chosen to have all of our phases continue for no more than 8 weeks.  As we do not have an "in-season" so to speak, we do have certain events that some of us may train for at certain points throughout the year.  These events, like Regionals, Sectionals, and the games will determine the mesocycles in our studio for the majority of our clients, unless they have specific goals they're working towards, such as olympic triathlons, marathons, etc (regardless of our working phase, competitive athletes will benefit from our programming to supplement they're sport-specific training regimen ). 

Our strength phase will begin on August 1st.  This will be total body strength with benchmark Tuesdays still in affect.  

This will be a periodized strength phase with fluctuations in intensities and volume to follow the structure of an undulating periodized strength phase.  The white board will be broken up into either a metcon workout or a strength workout.  I will design  the WODs and will also include skill and challenge work. 

The bench mark this week was 'Kalsu'. 
On the minute:
Complete 5 burpees and perform max rep 135 lbs thrusters on the minute.

The goal is to complete 100 total thrusters.
*At the beginning of every minute perform 5 burpees, for the rest of the minute perform as many thrusters as you can during that minute. At the beginning of the next minute perform 5 burpees and then max rep thrusters and so on until you reach 100 total thrusters.
Post the total number of minutes it took to reach 100 thrusters.

Robert James Kalsu (April 13, 1945 - July 21, 1970) was selected as an Oklahoma Sooner All-American Tackle in 1967. As an eighth-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills in 1968, he started eight games at Guard and was voted the team's top rookie in 1968. He began fulfilling his ROTC obligation with the US Army following the '68 season and started his tour of duty in Vietnam in November of 1969, where he served with Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 11th Artillery, 101st Airborne Division. His MOS was 1193-Field Artillery Unit Comandder. LT Kalsu was killed by mortar fire on July 21,1970 at Firebase Ripcord near the Ashau Valley.

Is it just me, or to Ratko and I look alike?

Shelly's darn functional circuit on Wednesday.  Legs were on Fi-Ya!

I love my job.  This 2" rope is no joke, either.  

Great work on knees to elbows, Atlanta