Tag Archives | CrossFit

Fitness Friday: Workout Round-Up

I’ve shared some of my favorite workouts and gym exercises in the past so today I’m doing a quick round-up to get you fired up for a healthy weekend.

Everything from my favorite gym equipment & killer workouts to how to keep yourself excited to reach your fitness goals!

Fitness Friday Beginners Fitness Workout Round-Up San Francisco Fitness Blogger Fashion Food Fitness Lorna Jane Workout Gear

{Fitness Friday: Rolling & Stretching}

Bodyweight moves like plank and quadrupeds are a great way to fire up your core, get a good burn going, and are equipment-free so that you can do them anywhere – On vacation, at home, while you’re traveling… In other words – No excuses!

Fitness Friday: Beginners Fitness

Fitness Friday: Rolling & Stretching

Fitness Friday Beginners Fitness Workout Round-Up San Francisco Fitness Blogger Fashion Food Fitness Lorna Jane Workout Gear

{Fitness Friday: Inspiration}

Staying motivated to maintain your new fitness routine can be a challenge – Here are some posts to get you excited for your workouts and inspired to make healthy changes in your life.

Fitness Friday: Inspiration

Motivation

What time of day do you like to workout? Any moving is good for you, whether you’re walking to work, or spending 5 minutes doing plank between conference calls.

Midday Workouts

Fitness Friday Beginners Fitness Workout Round-Up San Francisco Fitness Blogger Fashion Food Fitness Lorna Jane Workout Gear

{Fitness Friday: Beginners Fitness}

Want to keep things interesting and keep challenging your body? Check out these calorie torching workouts featuring some of my favorite equipment at the gym.

Beginners Fitness: Kettlebells

Beginners Fitness: Medicine Balls

Happy Fitness Friday and here’s to a healthy, happy weekend!

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Beginners Fitness: Medicine Balls

Welcome to the third week of the Spring 2013 Beginners Fitness Series!

You can catch up on Beginners Fitness & Beginners Fitness: Kettlebells, or some other recent health & fitness-related posts – Guest Post: Women’s Health, Guest Post: Fashion of the Fitness World, Guest Post: Food & The Daily Battle, {Guest Post} Interview With A Trainer & {Guest Post} A CrossFit Year.

Another one of my favorite pieces of equipment at the gym are medicine balls – They’re versatile and since they can be used to work so many different muscle groups you can put together an entire workout using them.

MedicineBalls

{Inspiration Pinterest Board}

Workouts:

If you’re starting a workout regime for the first time and consider yourself to be a beginner than you need to be sure to ease into a new exercise routine – Start with one workout a week plus walking, then two, and so forth.

Choosing your weight is one of the most important parts of a medicine ball workout – You want to be tired by the end of each set so don’t start with the heaviest weight you can pick up. You can also change weights for different moves – For example using a heavier ball for squats and a lighter one for core exercises.

[1.] Day One:

Warm Up: 5-10 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

*Reading Materials – Medicine Ball Workout from Mark’s Daily Apple

MedicineBallInspiration

{Inspiration Pinterest Board}

[2.] Day Two: Core Core Core!

Warm Up: 5-10 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

Warm Down: 10-15 minutes of intervals on a machine of your choosing {See the suggestions under Warm Up}

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

*Reading Materials – Increase Your Strength and Athleticism with Medicine Ball Training

Nutrition:

In the past two posts we’ve talked about healthy eating, how to replace unhealthy snacks with more nutrition options, and I suggested cooking as an alternative to eating out. Today I want to talk a little about fueling your workout – What you eat before a workout gives you energy and keeps your body hydrated & nourished while you put stress on it.

These are interesting articles and while they both highlight the importance of properly fueling your workouts they aren’t identical in their recommendations. Each body is different and it’s going to take some trial and error to find the perfect workout fuel for your body!

WorkoutFuel

Homework:

Rest days and stretching and/or foam rolling are an important part of working out. If you have the stamina to workout 7 days a week that’s admirable – But don’t! By not giving your body time to heal and rest you’re undoing all of your hard work. Check out The No Meat Athlete’s rolling tutorial to get you started – Foam Rolling.

Having a busy Spring? That’s no excuse to skip your workouts! You can easily do body weight circuits featuring moves like push-ups, squats, and sit-ups from a hotel room or utilize the hotel pool or drop-in deals for gyms & studios. Bonus? Getting in a workout  after a flight can help you fight jetlag! Read Mod City Mag’s Working Out While Traveling to give you some tips & suggestions for your next trip.

Disclaimer: I am not a trainer, doctor, or dietitian nor do I have any certifications associated with physical fitness or nutrition. Prior to making any dramatic changes to your fitness routine or diet you should consult a physician.

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{Guest Post} A CrossFit Year

Welcome to another Fitness Friday post – Today we get to hear about the overall life improvements and health benefits of adding consistent weight training to your workout regime. This is also a great reminder that you get what you put into your workout regime – No pain no gain!

A few notes to get you started:

(1)     In CrossFit there are benchmark/progress testing workouts that are completed periodically – Hero workouts named after fallen heroes and workouts named after the badass ladies who coined them. Fran is one of these workouts, you can find a description here:

A workout consisting of two relatively simple movements, Fran is a decreasing pyramid of thrusters (barbell beginning in a full squat position and ending in a fully locked out overhead position) and pull-ups. The rep scheme is: 21/15/9 of alternating thrusters (at 95 lbs, ‘prescribed’) and pull-ups.

(2)    On Ramp is a series of introductory classes that anyone new to a CrossFit gym will be required to go through – They gauge your proficiency in various lifts so that you can learn all requisite movements, from Olympic lifting to gymnastics, before beginning your first CrossFit “WoD” (workout of the day).

(3)    Kyle’s current gym is Cap City Strength & Conditioning and while this is a barbell gym everyone is competing in the CrossFit Open – So far Kyle has done GREAT in the first two WODs and will be attempting 13.3 tomorrow!

If you’d like to learn more of the basics behind CrossFit check out my Do You… CrossFit? & My Personal CrossFit posts, and you can get more background the Paleo diet in Guest Post: The Paleo Lifestyle.

Though I suppose many (or perhaps just some, I’m really not that terribly famous) of you reading this may already know me – The Fauxhawk, the moniker “Asian Kyle,” the non-stop posts on Facebook and Instagram on anything and everything Paleo/CrossFit/denim/etc. – My name is Kyle Chin. A bit of history about fitness and me: In my youth, I ran 5Ks and 10Ks throughout middle school with my parents – Purely for the fun of it. Yes, I was strange even then. Then in high school I joined Cross Country and Track & Field to pursue more competitive running & racing. The thrill of racing and making the Varsity team was a great head rush, but the loneliness of trekking mile after mile – Often solo – Didn’t provide the ‘team’ or ‘family’ atmosphere that I craved and that would push me harder and farther. So I tapered off the running, started hitting the weight room for something different, but nothing really stuck. That was my junior year in high school, 2005, and I was 115 lbs.

Fast forward 6 years – And 35lbs – It was 2011 and I was nearing 150 lbs. College had been a whirlwind of fun, but revolved largely around the freedom to cook, eat, and of course drink – Whatever I wanted. I found a new passion in cooking during college – Roasted leg of lamb with gravy from the drippings served with homemade mashed potatoes loaded with butter and heavy cream along with maybe a veggie – And cooking for one meant either tons of leftovers and frozen portions for later or… Gorging myself so as not to waste any of that delectable goodness. So for four years I cooked and ate whatever I wanted, with no attention paid to portion sizes, calories, saturated fats or any of that nutritional mumbo-jumbo. I went from a size 28 fitting loosely to a size 32. I also lost all desire to work out, I tried to hit the gym or the trail but was either too self-conscious to stay out for long or too lazy to stay on track for any length of time – In short, I was a mess of self-loathing and depression that needed a ‘push’ in the right direction.

After graduating college I moved back to NorCal. Luckily, I landed an internship which turned into a job. Long story short – A co-worker of mine, Christina, asked me if I wanted to try to find something like CrossFit to try so that we could get fit. We both had been running and going to 24 Hour sporadically, but we were both looking for that ‘it’ factor to really motivate us. So we tried a free Saturday workout at a local CrossFit box – And that, as they say, was our first drink of the Kool-aid that is CrossFit.

CrossFitKyle

{2006 to 2008 to 2013}

That was March 2012.

As I write this it is March 2013 – A year after starting CrossFit – And my life has changed in so many (amazing) ways. I still remember it clearly – One of the first day after nine sessions of On Ramp – Fran. Anyone who’s heard of CrossFit has heard the whispers of the dreaded “Fran cough” and the other “CrossFit ladies,” so I was more than just a little worried. Our coach’s advice to not be scared to scale rang loudly in my head and I decided to drop 20 lbs off the ‘prescribed’ weight and do my pull-ups with the assistance of a band. Eight minutes later and I was done and I felt like a million bucks – Nothing hurt too badly and I wasn’t terribly out of breath – I thought to myself “CrossFit isn’t so bad!” And then I turned to my coach who looked at me and said nonchalantly “Kyle, you never get to use that band again.” (A few months later when I did Fran again, it took me around the same time – 7 min and change – But I assure you I’ve never been so exhausted as I was in the ensuing days. The Fran cough, the soreness, and my ego being taken down a few notches).  And since then I’ve fought through so many amazing (*cough* horrible) workouts – The “Filthy Fifty”, “The Seven,” “Murph,” to name a few, and after every one I swore I felt near death and thought I was going to die. But the next day – Or maybe two or three later – I was back in the box for more punishment.

And then several months ago I found my addiction, competition. The largest NorCal competition is the SacTown Throwdown and I was lucky enough to make the team for my box and had the opportunity to compete for the first time in January. Over the course of 8 hours, our four-person team competed in 5 separate workouts that tested our bodies, minds and resolve. At the end of the first day, I found myself exhausted, bruised and loving every (excruciating) minute of it – The competitive spirit within me knew that CrossFit provided a healthy, friendly outlet to compete with amazing athletes who loved pushing themselves as hard as I did. The adrenaline and team/family atmosphere around the competition was so amazing and I knew then that I had found my passion with people I truly loved.

To say that I’ve fallen in love with CrossFit and the Paleo lifestyle is an understatement. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I probably overdo it a bit online and at any opportunity in a conversation, but my enthusiasm stems only from how wonderfully my life changed because of CrossFit and the amazing family I’ve come to know throughout the past year. So here I stand a year after starting CrossFit – Back to a 28 size waist, a lean 135 lbs, and in the best shape of my life.

Thank you Kyle for your interesting & thoughtful piece, it’s great to see how weight training & CrossFit have had such a positive influence on your life. As someone who has been able to witness part of your transformation I can really attest to both your dedication and enthusiasm!

Have you tried CrossFit or weightlifting? What’s your go-to workout for Spring?

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Beginners Fitness: Kettlebells

Welcome to Week II of the new Spring 2013 Beginners Fitness Series!

You can catch up on Beginners Fitness Week I or enjoy some other recent health & fitness-related posts – Guest Post: Women’s Health, Guest Post: Fashion of the Fitness World, Guest Post: Food & The Daily Battle & {Guest Post} Interview With A Trainer.

BeginnersFitnessKettlebells

{Inspiration Pinterest Board}

Workouts:

Since this is just Week Two of this new fitness regime we’re going to keep the total number of workouts at two for another week – You want to ease into any changes in your activity level to avoid injuries or overworking yourself. If you feel like you’re ready to go beyond two, feel free to add one of the workouts from last week’s list – Beginners Fitness.

A great piece of gym equipment that I highly recommend is the kettlebell. It’s a very versatile piece since you can use them in a gym setting or at home/outside. Definitely a good investment.

[1.] Day One:

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

  • Kettlebell Swings {Kettlebells Workouts’s Teaching Points for The Kettlebell Swing} Three rounds of 10-15 swings – #1 thing to keep in mind is your form & to be careful of your back!!!
  • Goblet Squats {Men’s Health’s Goblet Squats} Three rounds of 10-15 squats

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of intervals on a machine of your choosing {See the suggestions under Warm Up}

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

*Reading Materials – 22 Kick Ass Kettlebell Exercises from Greatist.com

Monday

{Inspiration Pinterest Board}

[2.] Day Two: {Longer Workout}

Warm Up: 10 minutes of walking or light cardio

Warm Down: 10-15 minutes of intervals on a machine of your choosing {See the suggestions under Warm Up}

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

*Reading Materials – Total Body Toning With Kettlebells from Women’s Health

Nutrition:

In the last post I suggested that you try cutting some of the processed foods out of your diet and cooking more, were you able to give that a try? Changing your routine and breaking habits is one of the hardest things that you can do, but knowing that you’re making strides towards improving your health and increasing your life expectancy should help motivate you.

Larabars

Here are a few more snack alternatives to not only help you GET COOKING, but also so that you can still enjoy some tasty snacks without reaching for processed or sugary store-bought treats:

  • I crave salty foods, especially when I’m under stress, so these Oven Fries from The Wannabe Chef are the perfect thing to reach for. Bonus points for using a sweet potato!
  • Do you crave a sweet treat in the afternoons? Give these Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabars from OhSheGlows a try next time you get peckish. You can also freeze them and then you’ll have a great treat whenever you want it!

Homework:

We talked about stress last time – Now that you’re aware of how important controlling stress is for your health, what are you doing to help combat it? Yoga is a much-loved stress reducer, but if you’re not up for a class there are still some moves that you can try out at home – Om Alone: At-Home Yoga Workout.

One of the best things that you can do for your health and one of the most powerful daily changes you can make is adding walking to your life. Check out this post on the benefits of walking {Guest Post: Low-Intensity Fasted Cardio} and this piece from Prevention Magazine – News Pulse: What A Simple Walk Can Do.

Disclaimer: Prior to making any dramatic changes to your fitness routine or diet you should consult a physician.

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{Guest Post} Food & The Daily Battle

Welcome to Part II of the Women’s Health series here on Moi Contre La Vie. Today we’re going to hear more from Megan of Kaia F.I.T. Sacramento on the daily struggle to eat well. If you’re new to this series be sure to check out Megan’s bio {Guest Post: Women’s Health} and her previous post – Fashion of the Fitness World.

Part 2: Food… The Daily Battle

I love ice cream, especially cookies & cream. I love cheeseburgers and extra crispy french fries. I can put down a serious amount of pizza. I love crafty cocktails and champagne. I worked in fine dining restaurants for 10 years and was privileged to indulge in some amazing dishes and glasses of wine…

But now I work in the fitness industry. And I constantly try to balance my view of food… Fuel or Delicious Goodness? My answer is both.

The majority of the time, on the day-to-day, food is fuel. Looking at it that way leads me to eating cleaner, leaner, and healthier. I view myself like a machine and if I want to run properly, perform well in my workouts, and feel energetic all day, I need to provide myself with the best fuel available.

I personally feel the best when I eat multiple times throughout the day, always beginning with breakfast. I feel great when I eat lean meat and eggs, lots of veggies and greens, and fresh fruit. I like nuts and trail mix for snacks and dried fruit for dessert. Avoiding the starchy carbs, dairy, and sugar is essential to feeling good.

KaiaIV

However, coming from the restaurant industry, I love nothing more than a nice dinner out. I appreciate a perfectly cooked noodle and a salty piece of pork belly. And I absolutely love home-made ice cream and cookies at my mom’s house. These are the good things in life.

So, how do I balance it? When do I decide to devour a sandwich and when do I stick to a salad full of veggies? I practice MODERATION. I try to stick to healthy ‘fuel’ most of the time. When I treat myself to ‘carbs’ and sugar, I view it just that way… As a TREAT. I think it’s better that way anyway. I feel like crap when I eat sugar and bread days in a row and I stop appreciating it.

Everyone has to make their choices, each and every day. But awareness is where it all begins. If you never go without bread, dairy, sugar, alcohol, etc., how will you ever know how you feel without it?

Our go-to detox at Kaia FIT is 7 days without the following:

  • All starchy ‘carbs’ (bread, tortillas, rice, potatoes, etc.)
  • Sugar over 9g per serving (besides sugar naturally found in fruits/veggies)
  • Alcohol
  • Dairy
  • Processed Foods (if you can’t pronounce something on the label, avoid it!)

Eating clean is a great feeling and I highly recommend letting yourself experience it. And remember, “All things in moderation, including moderation.”

A big thank you to Megan for this great insight into her way of thinking about nutrition. It’s very easy to get into patterns of binging or restricting, so avoid all the negative side effects of both of those ways of eating and try practicing moderation as Megan has suggested.

What’s your personal approach to your daily diet?

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