News

Philly Founders take on the Miami Surge!

August 14, 2014

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On Thursday September 4th the Philadelphia Founders will take on the Miami Surge in their first and only home match! Lucky for us, the match is only minutes away! It will take place at The Liacouras Center on Broad Street on the Temple University campus.  This is just minutes from Center City, Fairmount, and Northern Liberties. 

If you’re interested in attending this event, sign up on the bulletin board in the gym.  After we have 10 individuals signed up, we’ll host a giveaway of two additional tickets! Let’s get behind our home team and support them in their first match! 

Wine-N-Spine!

August 7, 2014

Wednesday August 13th, CrossFit Love and the mobility master himself, Nick P, will be hosting Wine-N-Spine from 6:30pm-8:30pm.  Enjoy a night of spinal restoration and mobility.  Paleo snacks will be provided and everyone is encouraged to bring in their own wine. Sign up on the sheet in the gym…but hurry! Only a few spots left! 

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Custom Fit Meals!

July 28, 2014

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Get your orders in today for Custom Fit Meals! Delicious paleo meals delivered right to the gym! Click the link below and make sure to get your meals ordered in time!

http://www.customfitmeals.com/

WARNING: TAKE YOUR STUFF HOME

July 1, 2014

To ALL members: if you have been storing your belongings in the cubbies, you need to take them home. They are not personal lockers, they are there for people to use while they are in class. 

You must take everything home by THIS THURSDAY AT CLOSE. July 3rd. Anything left after that will be thrown in the garbage…not moved to a box as before…the garbage. 

Take it home!!

 

CrossFit Striking Trainer Course

June 13, 2014

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“Fighters are some of the most well-conditioned and powerful athletes in the world.  This is due, in part, to their striking training since punching and kicking with true power, speed and accuracy requires people to utilize their entire body from the ground up.  As a consequence, striking is one of the most rudimentary and functional movements that involve the core.”

George Ryan, SWAT Team member and Martial Arts Masters Hall-of-Fame inductee, developed this program in order to help individuals increase their performance in CrossFit by combining it with a fighter’s striking training program. 

Some of the many benefits to this course include: 

● Achieve a fighter’s fitness level

● Add variety to CrossFit workouts

● Be able to throw proper strikes and combinations, i.e. punch & kick

● Understand the role of the kinetic chain and the posterior chain that

support athletic performance and fighting

● Increase the speed and power of strikes, regardless of experience

● Be able to teach proper striking mechanics to clients

● Safely run a training session involving striking skills and drills

● Teach an essential self-protection skill-set to athletes

● Effectively utilize shadow boxing, focus mitts and a heavy bag

This course will be held at CrossFit Love, 941 N. Front St. Philadelphia, October 18-19.

To learn more and read some frequently asked questions before registering, check out the link below. 

http://bit.ly/1n8WGfI

SATURDAY SCHEDULE CHANGE

May 30, 2014

UPDATE: 

Tomorrow’s sessions will be held at the Temple University Track.  The times will remain the same

This is for tomorrow (5/31) only and be advised there are NO sessions on Sunday as we will be hosting the CrossFit Endurance Trainer Course. 

Directions to the track:

Heading North on Broad Street you will pass through Temple’s main campus (flags will be obvious on the sides of the street) before you reach the end of the campus turn left onto Norris Street.  You can then make a left onto 15th street.  Parking is available on the side of the street.  Coming down 15th Street the track will be on your right.  The entrance is on the walkway in between 15th and 16th streets.  You may also go around the block and park on the street on 16th.  The track is visible from both sides.  Helpful cross-streets in locating the track would be 15th and Montgomery and/or 15th and Norris. 

Don’t forget to bring your water!

On CrossFit and Body Image by Cassie Coleman

April 29, 2014

On CrossFit and Body Image: How CrossFit Taught Me to Love Myself

            We have all looked in the mirror and wished we saw something different. How could we not? Each and every day we are bombarded with images of how we should look. We strive for the perfect bodies of men and women whose perfection is so often photo-shopped, yet judge ourselves so harshly in comparison. Media has flashed so many of these images in our faces, that many of us feel the only way for society to love us, and therefore for us to love ourselves, is to meet these impossible ideals. The media has made us forget what we love about ourselves. CrossFit has attempted to take back these ideals by celebrating our successes and teaching us how to embrace the beauty that is found in our strength, determination, and success.

             We all have personal stories of struggles with body image, whether it is ourselves or our friends or family.  Personally, I have struggled several times with insecurities surrounding food.  Throughout my childhood and teenage years I competed as a gymnast and then in track and field, both sports that urge minimal body fat and no weight gain. When I graduated college I stopped competing in sports, gained weight, and panicked.  I slept with a scale next to my bed and weighed myself every morning, tracking the weights on a spreadsheet. If my weight was not less than the day before, I would barely eat that day. I spent 2-3 hours in the gym per day. I tracked every bite of food I put in my mouth, not allowing myself more than 800 calories in a day. I wrote-up a contract promising myself I would not eat more than 3g (!!) of protein per day and that my main food source would be mostly water-based vegetables. This was until I had a very turbulent end to a relationship that had been ongoing throughout this whole process and my eating habits changed dramatically. I would eat normally around friends and family, but by myself would eat as much as I possibly could. Bags of chips, boxes of cookies, entire pizzas, pints of ice cream – literally anything I could get my hands on. I made excuses like, “Just go crazy today, tomorrow you’ll start a new diet”, but, to the knowledge of absolutely no one around me, it continued for weeks on end. I would cancel plans with friends or not come out of my bedroom for hours just so I could binge. Not surprisingly, I gained over 20 pounds over less than a two-month period.  I had never been unhappier and nobody knew. I felt absolutely alone and so desperate for help, despite a great group of friends and family around me. That was when I found CrossFit.

             I share my story not as a plea for sympathy, but as an example of the struggles that nearly everybody goes through, both male and female; the struggles to love yourself in a world full of reasons not to.  When I joined CrossFit, I found a community of people unlike the people I surrounded myself with at the gyms I used to go to. They were not people spending hours on an elliptical in desperate hope of burning the calories they consumed at lunch, they were people working their butts off in order to improve themselves, to improve their strength numbers or train for their upcoming race or to supplement their sports training. Regardless, they were a group at the gym for positive reasons, not negative ones.  A group that taught me how to have a healthy relationship with food and how to love my body for what it was, imperfections and all.

             CrossFit tackles all the mental issues that so many struggle with everyday. Instead of publishing articles like we see in magazines and online blogs each and everyday, articles on what to eat to lose the most fat or ten foods you can eat that burn calories while you’re eating them, CrossFit publishes articles on how to use food the way it should properly be used, as fuel. We learn that protein builds muscle, that fat and carbs fuel us through workouts. We learn not only to not be afraid of calories, but to not even count them. When I moved into my current apartment in Philadelphia, I threw out my scale – a scale I literally used to be so dependent on I would bring it with me when I went home for holidays or vacations.  More importantly than this though, CrossFit teaches us to be proud of what we can do with our bodies, no matter how big or small they are. CrossFit teaches us the value of hard work. Our reward at CrossFit is not, after two hours on the elliptical, finally hitting that 1000-calorie mark, it’s after two months of tireless effort, finally getting that big PR or that first muscle-up or that first RX in a workout. Our world is a world where value is not determined by a reflection in the mirror (we don’t even have mirrors in our gyms!). We are rewarded for our hard work with strength, stamina, and importantly, confidence. 

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From my first day of RX deadlifting in a WOD (left) to PRing my 14.2 score by 50 reps (right).

              As a female, I can’t count on all my fingers and toes the number of looks or comments I’ve received about my muscles. Some are in admiration, but many are in question. Is it really feminine to have arms this big? Females aren’t possibly meant to have muscles this big, just look at our selection of clothes, almost none of which I can properly fit in anymore. But you know what I say to that? The 1950’s called and they want their housewife back. We have tirelessly worked for every muscle, every callus, and every bruise that we have. Our biceps? They represent our first pull-ups or our first time climbing up the rope. Those “gross” calluses on our hands? They represent our first toes to bar or our first time kipping five pull-ups in a row. How about those brutal bruises on our shins that prevent us from wearing skirts or shorts? They show the world that we just PRed our clean last week or that we used the RXed deadlift weight in the workout for the first time ever.  Unlike those of people who strive for a body like the girls in the Victoria’s Secret catalog or spend hours obsessing over the fat content of what they’re consuming, our imperfections represent our successes, represent something that we did today that we couldn’t do yesterday.  CrossFit doesn’t require weigh-ins for competitions because it’s not how much we weigh or what our body looks like that’s important, it’s what we can do with our body that marks our successes. And although we participate in things like the Open, coaches everywhere encourage keeping a journal because we don’t have to compare ourselves to anyone else; our biggest successes are against ourselves. We gain confidence by decreasing band sizes on our pull-ups, not by decreasing pant sizes, by increasing the number of plates on our bars, not by increasing the number of calories we cut from our diet.  We can look at where we were one year ago and be so incredibly proud of where we’ve gone since then. And on those days when we look in the mirror and cringe at that cellulite that may have appeared, or that roll that we wish so badly would go away, we can focus instead on the amazing feats of strength that our bodies have accomplished.  Look at our bruises and our calluses and our rips and remind ourselves that those are markers that when things get ‘heavy’, we are not the people that will be sitting out.

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From my skinniest and most unhealthy where I would take pictures to track my progress (left) to placing at the Valentine’s Day Massacre weighing over 20 pounds more, healthier and happier than ever (right).

Seven Weird Things CrossFitters Do, by Katie Levy

April 15, 2014

Seven Weird Things CrossFitters Do, by Katie Levy

Every sport has its own distinctive lingo, idiosyncratic terminology, and unique resulting habits and behaviors that might look completely ridiculous to an outsider. CrossFit is certainly no different. Over the past three years, I’ve learned quite a bit about what makes CrossFit and CrossFit athletes different from the rest, and some of what I’ve experienced, and now practice, looks and sounds downright weird. Behaviors like carrying food with you everywhere you go, or amassing a significant collection of footwear for every possible scenario aren’t unique to our sport, but a number of other behaviors are. 

We speak almost entirely in acronyms.

Let’s be honest – one of the toughest things about starting out at a CrossFit gym is trying to figure out what everyone’s talking about. Every sport has its jargon, but with acronyms like WOD, AMRAP, DU, MU, HSPU, DL, OHS, even Rx’d floating around in every conversation, it can be impossible for anyone without at least a few weeks of CrossFit to translate anything written on a whiteboard or spoken at a gym. If you’re a new athlete still learning the terminology, or if you’re a seasoned athlete trying to explain what you’re doing to a friend or family member, CrossFit Davis has a pretty good list of most of the acronyms I’ve seen. Read up and pass it on!

We buy razors for our hands.

I regard the calluses I’ve developed on my hands over the course of three years of CrossFit as badges of honor. It’s taken a ton of snatches, countless cleans, and way too many pull-ups to get them just right. And they’re there for a reason. Calluses are areas on your skin that harden over time due to friction or pressure. They’re our skin’s natural safeguard against blisters and tears. But if you don’t care for them properly, they can rip just as easily as non-callused areas of your skin. As they get harder and more prominent, they’re more likely to rip; filing them down is essential. I’ve seen pumice stones, PedEgg brand foot files and all sort of other tools used by CrossFitters to care for calluses. My favorite tool is a good old fashioned callus shaver, and it’s a purchase I’d never made prior to CrossFit. But the hand-weirdness doesn’t stop there…

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Getting ready for a high-rep pullup workout with our favorite purple glue.

 

Sometimes, we put glue on our hands.

I learned early on in my CrossFit career that taking care of your hands is absolutely essential, but sometimes, no amount of callus-shaving or taping can help. I remember doing “Murph” for the first time and realizing a few dozen pull-ups in that my hands weren’t going to come out of the workout unscathed. If you’re unlucky enough to cause damage mid-WOD like I did, and you’re anything like me, you finish the workout anyway. And it hurts. A ripped hand in the middle of a workout isn’t just painful that when it happens; rips take days to heal. A teammate introduced me to medical glue, and now, on high-rep pull-up workouts, it’s an easy way for me to make sure my hands are protected. It’s meant for skin, so it’s non-toxic, and it’s an ideal extra layer of protection for those of us who don’t like to tape our hands every time.

We have love/hate relationships with specific women and fallen soldiers.

Fran. Grace. Helen. Cindy. Diane. If you’ve been involved with CrossFit long enough, odds are you’ve completed most of the benchmark “girl” WODs at least once. Some of these names strike fear into the hearts of CrossFitters, (Fran and Elizabeth for me), but if the movements or time domains are in your wheelhouse, they can be downright fun (I love Isabel and Grace). Regardless, the “girls” unite all of us; everyone knows what their Fran time is, or the first time they were able to do Nancy as prescribed. Learn more about the different “girls” on CrossFit.com.

Then, there’s Murph. DT. Randy. The Seven. Manion. They’re not just names; they’re names that represent something important in the world of CrossFit.

“In their actions, these men embodied the values and spirit of true heroes, and to immortalize their courage, bravery and self-sacrifice, the CrossFit Hero workouts were created.” (Russell Berger)

Hero WODs are tests of fitness and fortitude, but every Hero WOD has a story and pays tribute to a fallen soldier (or soldiers) involved with CrossFit. Though Hero WODs tend to be unusually physically challenging, it’s fulfilling to do workouts that have meaning attached to them.

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“Linda” involves benching your bodyweight for 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps.

 

We covet body parts that aren’t normally coveted.

“Man, I wish I had her elbows!” and “Why can’t my ankles look like that when I squat?” are both phrases I’ve uttered or heard variations of more than once. It might sound strange to wish you could trade elbows or ankles with someone unless you’re a CrossFitter. Of course, for me, coveting body parts that aren’t normally coveted is more due to what those body parts can help me do in the gym. Fast elbows mean more successful cleans. Flexible ankles mean better squats, pistols and wall balls. Luckily, with the right coaching and mobility work, most of what we covet can become our own reality.

For a specific five weeks out of the year, we attempt to break our browser’s “refresh” button, and we made up a word to describe that behavior.

Leaderboarding. If you’ve taken part in the CrossFit Games Open, you’re likely guilty of leaderboarding. Essentially, it’s the act of checking, re-checking, and re-re-checking the CrossFit Games leaderboard over the course of any period of time. My leaderboarding behaviors tends to peak right around when scores are due at the end of each of the five Open workouts, but I’m certainly guilty of hitting “refresh” even when I know nothing will have changed. But sometimes, it’s about more than just seeing results. I learned that in 2012, on average, a woman in the Mid-Atlantic Region had to finish 85th or better in all five Open workouts to place 48th or better overall. In 2013, that average dropped to 75th, then it increased in 2014 to 85th. If you’re hoping to earn a bid to Regionals, this analysis can be super helpful. It can also make you crazy. Leaderboard with care.

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Time to warm up our snatches!

 

We say a lot of things that, out of context, seem very strange, and/or very inappropriate.

Hearing a variation of, “Your snatch looks amazing today!” is pretty common at CrossFit Love, and at most affiliates I’ve been to. Also, I’ll hear phrases like “I hate Karen!” or “I can’t wait to do Cindy tonight!” To an innocent eavesdropper, CrossFitters might sound more dirty-minded than average, or it might seem they harbor ill will toward specific women. But it’s all just part of the CrossFit lingo.

Alright, I’m sure I missed at least a few things. What else would you add to this list? Send a note to @crossfitlove on Twitter or leave a comment!

New No-Show Policy!

April 1, 2014

MEMBERS: effective immediately there will be a new policy for ‘no-shows’ of the regularly scheduled classes.  

You are allowed to miss 1x and after that you will be charged 20$ for every ‘no-show’ without a proper excuse.  

There are a number of ways to reach a coach if you feel you need to cancel a session and it is passed the 8 hour mark.

EMAIL: info@crossfitlove.com

CALL: (267) 687-2858

Many of our classes are filled and we hate to see individuals miss a workout because they were placed on the wait-list when there would have been room for them in a session. 

Started From the Bottom: Addressing Ankle and Calf Mobility by Nick Perugini

April 1, 2014

Started From the Bottom
Addressing Ankle and Calf Mobility for the CrossFit Athlete

 Joint Mobility is defined as: the degree to which an articulation (where two bones meet) is allowed to move before being restricted by surrounding tissues (ligaments/tendons/muscles etc.)  Walk into any CrossFit gym around the world and you will see athletes performing mobilizations as they are prepare to workout. Mobilizing is exactly like brushing your teeth; you can’t afford to miss a day! If you are looking to increase range of motion, rehabilitate old injuries, and reduce injury risk, you should plan on dedicating at least 15 minutes of your day to improving mobility. 

As you could probably imagine, the hips and shoulder are areas that are often targeted by athletes.  Sure, it’s easy to roll out your back, quads, and hamstrings on foam roller, and say “Ok, let’s do this,” but for the majority of athletes out there dealing with serious biomechanical restrictions, we need to do some extra work.

The most overlooked area of the body tends to be the ankle and lower leg region.  From my experience as a Coach and Mobility trainer at CrossFit Love, I can say that a lack of ankle range of motion will seriously inhibit hip function.  Although you may be spending 15 minutes per day mobilizing your hips, your ankles will always be the limiting factor in the way you move.  In this article I will share with you some techniques that are guaranteed to improve your ankle range of motion. 

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 Banded Ankle Distraction

This is a simple yet effective piece that can be used before, during, and after workouts to increase ankle mobility and hip function.  In the first picture you will notice that the band is not directly in line with my foot.  With the band pulling a little more laterally, this will mimic the bottom of our squat position, where we aim to have our knees track over our toes. 

I am also applying a force to the top of my knee, in attempt to gain more range of motion in the ankle.  This does not need to be a static mobilization, but rather, focus on oscillating in and out of end-range.  This set up can be performed standing as well, but I prefer to use the box to apply more pressure through my heel. 

Remember, we are trying to clear any kind of ankle impingement we may be having, so we absolutely do not want to let our arches collapse while performing these techniques.  Keep your entire foot on the ground and drive your knee forward and out.  “Oscillate. Rotate. Dominate.”

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Voodoo Band Ankle Mobilization


If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck in terms of mobility, the Voodoo band is something that you must invest in. While it may look intimidating at first, the Voodoo band is an intermittent, compression-based joint-mobilization method that incorporates all of the mobility systems simultaneously. Very simply, the Voodoo band works by creating large compression force, while you move your limb into the position that your want to mobilize. For example, in the pictures above, I am mobilizing my ankle in the bottom of a squat; buying myself some much needed ankle dorsiflexion.
A general rule of thumb for the Voodoo band is to start a few inches below or above the that needs to be addressed, keeping a half-inch overlap in the band. Once wrapped, aim to mobilize as much as possible before taking the Voodoo band off. At around two minutes, you may begin to feel tingling, which simply means it is time to disengage from the Voodoo. This is my absolute GO-TO pick for ankle mobility.

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Soleus Barbell Smash
As we move upstream from the ankle, we come across the soleus. The soleus and calf take a serious beating from running, walking, playing sports, wearing high heels, and much more. If we are missing ankle range of motion, our calf and soleus are the ones taking the brunt of the force, leading to extreme tightness and a host of other ankle problems. With that being said, it is crucial that we spend time ungluing the tissues throughout our lower leg.
The pictures shown here (barbell and partner smashing) are techniques that can be used once a tolerance is built up along the lower leg. For beginners, I would suggest starting with a foam roller. If it’s been 30 years since you last touched your calf or soleus, be prepared to feel an extreme amount of discomfort.
During your soleus smash, you can place your opposite foot on top of your shin to apply a greater force onto the roller, barbell, or lacrosse ball. A slight rotation of the shin will allow you to catch the inner/outer portions of the soleus and calf which may be more or less problematic for you. Hunt around for trigger points, and once you find them, terminate them.

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Plantar Surface Smash
For those of you experiencing Plantar Fasciitis, or any kind of foot pain, this mobilization is vital. This can be performed with a lacrosse ball, baseball, dog toy, or any other miscellaneous item you have lying around. Start with pressure on your forefoot and work way down to the heel SLOWLY; looking for trigger points as you travel down your foot. This is a perfect mobilization for jobs that require you to sit, as you can slide a shoe off and keep a lacrosse ball under your desk.

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Posterior Tib Smash
The musculature throughout the lower leg and calf is directly responsible for controlling ankle movement. If the tissues upstream from the ankle are junky, ankle mobility will be inhibited. This mobilization can be performed with the handle of a kettlebell or lacrosse ball, by applying a downward force into the medial portion of your soleus and calf. Once your come across a stiff spot, keep the force applied and rotate your ankle. Your main concern here is targeting the muscles and tissues that run along your tibia.

 

Closing Remarks

All of the mobilizations listed above can be performed for two minutes per side, or until noticeable change has stopped. If you are serious about improving your running, squatting, Olympic lifting, and explosiveness, you will add these techniques to your daily mobilizations. Without efficient ankle and soleus function, your hip mobility will be directly inhibited. Our bodies are amazing machines, and while we may be able to work around biomechanical faults, we must remember that daily body maintenance is critical for a life full of health and wellness. Grab a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or barbell, and smash away.

April 5th Paleo Potluck & Spring Cleanup

March 31, 2014

cleanupThis Saturday, April 5th will be the Philly Spring Cleanup. Following the cleanup, CrossFit Love will be hosting a Paleo Potluck. The 2014 Open is over and the weather is going to be beautiful so anyone who comes out to clean and help out is welcome to join the potluck.

The Spring Cleanup will begin at 9am.  We will be cleaning up Front Street and Canal Street, and painting the downstairs. 

Level 1 & 2 will be doing CrossFit total all day long if you are interested in that.

Feel free to bring family members, loved ones, or best friends. There is a sign-up in the gym in regards to attendees and foods.  Make sure you check it out and write down what you plan to bring.  We will have a grill ready so feel free so bring things that may need to be cooked.

The Mobility Hour

March 29, 2014

Curious about what the mobility class includes? Not sure if it’s for you? Well read a little more about what Nick has to offer for all your aches and pains and then check out a class on Sunday morning, or schedule a personal training mobility session today!

We all experience aches and pains throughout our lifetime, some lasting longer than others. 
Sprained ankles, shoulder impingements, and other injuries have serious potential to affect the way we move and go about living our life.  The good news is that we are able to address these restrictions through several techniques. 

                The Mobility class at CrossFit Love is designed to help you alleviate musculoskeletal pain, increase joint range of motion, and allow for better execution of the movements found in CrossFit, as well as everyday life.  Whether you are experiencing lower back pain at work, or feeling discomfort in your squat, Nick will be able to work with you to address your concerns.   Mobility class is currently held on Sunday’s at 10:30 AM, but we are also offering personal Mobility sessions with Nick at various times throughout the week.  

April Schedule Changes

March 24, 2014

Schedule Changes

1. Beginning April 1st we will be eliminating open gym from 1pm – 4:30 pm.  We believe the coaching staff knows best when it comes to getting you the best training possible.  We would like to see people in the classes in order to ensure you are getting the most out of your training.  The morning open gym times will stay the same because of the closeness in class times. 

2. Monday through Thursday at 8pm will be a level 1 session.

3. Assessments and personal training sessions can be made any time a trainer is available.  This includes personal training sessions for the fast track option. 

Spring Cleanup & Paleo Potluck

March 20, 2014

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SAVE THE DATE:

Saturday April 5th, CrossFit Love will once again, be hosting the Philly Spring Cleanup. We’ll be working on Front Street, Canal Street, and our own backyard, as well as painting the downstairs and fixing up the bathroom.  To many people, the gym is almost a second home so let’s all work together to make it as nice as possible. 

For all volunteers who join us on Saturday, we will be hosting a Paleo Potluck afterwards! Friends and family are welcome so be sure to mark this one down!

Nutrition for Beginners

March 14, 2014

Nutrition for Beginners

As a first year medical student, I have already been given extensive information on the “proper” diet for my patients: a diet low in fat, moderate in protein (but only lean protein like chicken and turkey!), and high in carbohydrates such as cereals and whole grain breads or pastas.  Two years ago, I used to be what you could call a “doctor’s dream”. I religiously ate 1200-1500 calories a day and spent 45 minutes to an hour either on the elliptical or jogging. My diet consisted of cereal for breakfast, a sandwich and fruit for lunch, and usually one of those frozen Lean Cuisines for dinner with some pretzels and vegetables for snacks throughout the day. Then I started CrossFit and all of my beliefs regarding food were turned upside down. Here I’m going to share a brief summary of what I’ve learned in the hopes of helping anyone who may be confused with the conflicting views of a traditional modern diet versus that of a “traditional” CrossFitter. 

As an example, I’ve included a typical day for me. This is on a day during a week of relatively high training. I start off my morning with two whole eggs scrambled, ¾ cup oatmeal with whole milk, one scoop vanilla protein powder, one tablespoon almond butter, and some cinnamon, and a big cup of coffee. Lunch includes a small-medium pork chop, a large serving of broccoli (with melted butter), and white rice. Before evening training I usually eat half an avocado and a Quest bar (this is my form of carbohydrate, I’m usually in class so this is quick and easy!). After training I have a protein shake with whole milk. Dinner is usually some steak, asparagus or green beans, and a sweet potato with butter and cinnamon.  This is not a template, it is what I have found works for me. I just hope to use this as an example to address some common questions I get.

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1. Won’t eating that many whole eggs raise my cholesterol?

This belief came from studies over 50 years ago that proved a there was a slight association between eating cholesterol and a raised cholesterol level in the blood stream. However, multiple new, more advanced studies have proved this wrong (even studies dating back to 1982, as you can see here).  These studies include one in the British Journal of Medicine and in the Medical Science Monitor both proving no link between egg consumption and increased coronary heart disease or stroke. High cholesterol has been proven to stem from high levels of “bad cholesterol” or small, dense LDL in the blood stream. Studies have repeatedly shown egg yolk consumption to both increase the level of “good cholesterol”, or HDL, as well increase the size of LDL particles (decreasing the overall number in the bloodstream, reducing risk for high cholesterol levels). This is explained very well in this article. In addition, egg yolks contain high contents of many beneficial nutrients including Omega-3 fatty acids, an anti-inflammatory (helps prevent soreness!) and many nutrients that many of us are deficient in including iron, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, D, E, and K (see a really cool table comparing egg yolks and egg white nutrients here!).

2. You eat oatmeal with whole milk for breakfast? I thought crossfitters were supposed to follow the Paleo diet?  

The Paleo diet provides an excellent base to follow. The mantra of “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar” is one I do follow, and I recommend following.  A little trick a physician mentor of mine says she uses with her patients is, if you pick up something at the grocery store and imagine showing it to a much older relative (great great grandmother, for example), would they have any idea what it was? If no, don’t eat it! This pretty much eliminates anything processed or man-made. However, many competitive CrossFit athletes, or anybody training at a fairly high caliber on a regular basis (that’s all of you, Crossfit is intense!), may need some supplementation to the general Paleo diet. For example, I have found that without adding things like rice and oatmeal to my diet, I don’t have enough energy during workouts.  In addition, I, with encouragement from others, have chosen to add raw whole milk to my diet to help to improve my strength. That being said, this is what works for me, I don’t have any dairy or gluten sensitivities, so I’ve been okay. Find what works for you! Do you feel great with eating “Paleo-approved” carbs such as sweet potatoes, fruits, and vegetables? If so, stick with it! If not, maybe you should try adding a small amount of oatmeal to your breakfast in the mornings and see how you feel. Did you have a great workout? Awesome!  Did your stomach totally revolt? Try something different! I have heard a lot of positive stories where people with a gluten sensitive stomach, looking for added carbs, added one or two pieces of gluten-free bread to their diet and saw great results. Again, this all depends on you! Don’t be afraid of carbs, we like carbs!! Just be sure to try and keep them as natural and not processed as possible: think natural oats rather than flavored or sweetened brands, plain rice before those with unknown added spices, and plain gluten free bread rather than sweetened.

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3. With whole milk, egg yolks, pork chops, steak, avocado, and butter, you seem to be eating a lot of fat. Don’t you worry about gaining weight or negative cardiovascular consequences? 

Fat does not make you fat or cause increase your risk of a heart attack. A study in the British Journal of Medicine, here, actually showed the while lowering dietary fats does lower cholesterol, it does nothing to reduce bad cholesterol, actually reducing the good cholesterol, the larger LDL particles I described above. Further, a study produced by the University of California showed that 75% of patients coming into the ER with heart attacks had cholesterol levels in the normal range. Now, studies are showing that sugar and diets high in carbohydrates are in fact the true culprits. This study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed an irrefutable link between sugar consumption and increased risk for cardiovascular disease mortality.

A little more about the importance of fat: fats are used structurally in every cell in our body, fats are required to digest fat-soluble vitamins including vitamins A, D, E, and K, fats are required for the adequate digestion and use of protein (another plug for eating the egg yolk WITH the egg white!), fats produce much more energy per unit than carbohydrates and are the first source of energy for our brain and our heart, and fats play key roles in inflammation (omega-3s as an anti-inflammatory, as I was describing above)

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Now, about sugar. When you eat something sweet, your body’s insulin levels spike. Increased insulin levels in the bloodstream stimulate your body to store glucose as glycogen in triglycerides in your adipocytes, AKA increase your fat! Further, your body does such a good job of storing this glucose that after eating something sweet or high in carbohydrates (pasta, bread, etc.), you go into a sugar deficit, triggering you to feel hungry and crave more sweets!

According to most studies that I have read, added sugars are by far the most harmful to our bodies. These include sugars used in processed or prepared foods like sugar-sweetened beverages, desserts, fruit drinks, candy, cereals, etc. Naturally occurring sugar like that found in fruit is totally safe as long as it’s consumed in moderation!

Moral of the story: good quality fats will not make you fat or increase your risk of heart disease! They will give you more energy, make you feel satisfied after a meal, and make you feel full for much longer after eating. These healthy fats include: avocadoes, nuts (not peanuts, those are technically a legume), fish (especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon), olive oil, grass-fed or sustainably raised animal products (eat your steak people!), coconut butter, or even grass-fed butter if dairy does not upset your stomach.

 4. How do you always eat this way? I would go insane!

 We’re all only human! As much as you may know about the dangers of sugars and carbohydrates, the fact is you are still going to crave cookies, and ice cream, and pizza. And that is okay! The point of eating this way is not to be 100% strict 100% of the time, that’s just not sustainable. We want this to be a lifestyle change, not a two-week diet that’s bound to fail! Allow yourself some cheats every now and then. If it’s your best friend’s birthday, have a slice of cake. Did you just crush a previous PR? Reward yourself with some ice cream! This should by no means be an everyday thing, but once every couple weeks will do absolutely nothing to harm you and will help you to succeed in the long run!

 5. So bottom line, what should I be eating? 

Through this write-up, I hope to give you the tools to be able to make better choices about what you are putting into your body. The food you eat is your fuel, and I promise you, the better the fuel, the better you are going to feel in all aspects of your life, from sound sleep to kickass workouts!  What foods each person needs exactly is dependent on them, and them only. There is no exact formula. I’ve read several different pieces of advice on how to measure food intake including: one gram protein for every pound of body weight, a diet consisting of 25% carbohydrates and 65% fats (from healthy fats including animal meat), or a diet of 30% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 30% fats. Any of these can be a good base, but my best advice is to try things out and see what works best for you. Follow the basic ideology of “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar” and then make tweaks as necessary. Add beneficial carbohydrates like rice, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes as you feel you need them to match your exercise regimen. Add increased dairy products if you know your stomach can tolerate them and you feel you need the extra source of calories and fats. But more than anything, do what makes you feel best!!

 

If you have any questions about nutrition in general or more specific to you, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at the gym or by email at cassandra.coleman22@gmail.com

Wednesday Schedule Change

March 11, 2014

Tomorrow, Peco is working on the building project next to CrossFit Love. They informed us that we will not have power from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tomorrow's schedule is as follows. 
530am - Level 2
630am - Level 2
730am - Level 1
Closed from 830am to 430pm
5pm - Level 2
6pm - Level 2
7pm - Level 3
8pm - Level 1 & On-Ramp
Sorry for any mid-day inconvenience

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Diane Fu is coming to CrossFit Love . . 09.14.14

March 10, 2014

 

CrossFit Love - Diane Fu Spend a full day with Coach Diane Fu of FuBarbell at CrossFit Love in Philadelphia, PA, learning movement progressions and technical drills for improvement in the snatch and clean & jerk. This course is appropriate for coaches, trainers, and athletes of all levels looking to improve upon their own technical proficiency while gaining further understanding of the foundational principals applied in weightlifting. No previous experience with the Olympic lifts is required, but attendees should be reasonably versed with basic strength movements such as those found in CrossFit.

Attendees should be prepared for an active day of practical work separated by brief lectures. Lectures will cover topics ranging from basic mobility to improve Oly positioning, technical details of the lifts, and practical programming for athletes and/or the beginning weightlifter. Attendees will also have the opportunity to perform the snatch and clean & jerk under actual working loads and receive feedback, coaching and corrections from Coach Fu throughout the day.

Get registered: https://fubarbell.pushpress.com/open/subscribe/43hl

Evening Schedule Session Changes

March 10, 2014

SCHEDULE CHANGES
The evening sessions are now as follows:

5pm – Level 2
6pm – Level 2
7pm – Level 3
8pm – Level 1 & On-ramp

**THIS SCHEDULE STARTS IN 3, 2, 1. . . . . .

Friends & Family Day!

March 5, 2014

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’7 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started CrossFit’ by Katie Levy

February 18, 2014

After nearly three years of CrossFit, the phrase, “I’ve learned a lot” doesn’t even begin to cover it. But there are a handful of things I’ve learned that I wish I’d known when I started. If you’re just starting out or think you might want to, hopefully these key lessons will help you. And if you’ve been a CrossFit athlete for a while, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to relate!

1. CrossFit Can Be Whatever You Want It to Be

Whether you’re looking to change up your gym routine, learn about weightlifting, or become a competitive athlete, your CrossFit experience is completely unique to you. The fact that the workouts are constantly varied makes CrossFit an ideal all-around fitness program and the community atmosphere makes it easy to stay motivated. But the intensity also makes CrossFit an ideal outlet if you’re a competitor at heart like I am. Bottom line? Whether you start CrossFit to get in shape or to qualify for the CrossFit Games, it’s a sport with room for any and every type of goal and skill set.

2. There’s Always Room to Improve…

When I started at CrossFit Love in the spring of 2011 after 13 years as a competitive swimmer and a few years as a gym rat, it became obvious that being fast was something I’d need to work on. Whether it was sprinting, exploding out of the bottom of a squat, or getting under the bar quickly on the Olympic lifts, I never worked to develop speed and explosive power in past athletic pursuits. I can’t begin to count the number of times I heard, “Katie, don’t be slow!” from my coaches and teammates in an effort to get me comfortable with moving fast.

Admittedly, I skipped a handful of workouts in the first few months that involved running and other movements I wasn’t good at. But, as I quickly learned, those movements keep showing up and the only way to get better is to tackle your weaknesses head on. There are still movements I struggle with, but seeing improvement has been an incredible experience. And that drive to be the best version of myself is part of what keeps me coming back every day.

3. …And There Are Going To Be Things It Takes Your Longer To Figure Out Than You Think It Should

The beauty of CrossFit is that no matter how good we get at a given exercise, there’s always going to be a movement or a workout we’re not as proficient in. I remember thinking, “This is ridiculous, my legs are strong enough, why are pistols so hard for me?” and “if I could jump rope when I was eight, why did it take me six months to figure out double unders?”

Pistols

One of my teammates demonstrating an exercise I still have trouble with – pistols!

 

We’ll all have strengths and weaknesses when we start; the only way to get better is to be in an environment where you’ll have people to push you and help you. And some movements, like the snatch, which is an Olympic event in and of itself, are infinitely complex. We all have to start somewhere and it’s so, so important to take CrossFit’s “leave your ego at the door” mentality to heart. Sometimes, the biggest obstacles to your progression are your own expectations and perceived limitations.

4. You Don’t Need To Be In Shape to Start CrossFit

As a coach, and even as an athlete in conversation with friends and family, I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve heard a variation of, “I can’t start CrossFit; I’m not in shape and it looks so hard!” Anyone, and I mean anyone, can do CrossFit.

The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability, meaning load (weight) and intensity can be modified depending on your skill level. Everything from bodyweight movements like push-ups to weighted movements like squats can be scaled. There’s no ideal age, weight, shape, or size for a beginning CrossFit athlete. At CrossFit Love, our coaches pride ourselves on their ability to work with anyone who is willing to work hard and keep an open mind. It’s a blast working out with and coaching people with a variety of backgrounds. Read up on our three levels of programming, all geared toward folks with different goals and experiences.

5. It Doesn’t Have To Be the Only Thing You Do, but It Can Be

“We encourage and expect our athletes to engage in regular sports efforts in addition to all of their strength and conditioning work.” – Greg Glassman

On a recent backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon, I had extended conversations with a new friend who wanted to try CrossFit, but wasn’t sure she’d be accepted into the community if CrossFit wasn’t the only thing she did. She didn’t think she could be an “all or nothing” CrossFit athlete based on her passion for other activities like distance running and outdoor sports. But she gave it a try, and now, she’s an active participant in the CrossFit community where she lives all while still getting outdoors and running.

When I started at CrossFit Love, I quickly discovered that CrossFit was my sport of choice, but it’s not that way for everyone. If you’re an avid participant in other fitness-related activities, CrossFit can be a great way to supplement your training, but it doesn’t have to be your only sport – unless you want it to be.

Snowshoeing

Being in the best shape of my life made a full day of snowshoeing in Grand Teton National Park even more enjoyable!

 

6. It’s Okay/Really Important To Be Aggressive

As an inherently non-aggressive person, it took me a long time to understand how important it is to approach the barbell or any workout without an ounce of hesitation or fear. It wasn’t normal for me to be loud, throw barbells around, make noise, or to be assertive in my movements. I was afraid to embrace the aggression I saw my teammates exhibiting. Would they think it was weird, or silly? Would being aggressive really make me a better athlete?

I quickly learned that being able to be aggressive and assertive was a direct result of confidence and the belief that I could do whatever it was I wanted to do that day. In CrossFit and in weighlifting, it’s so important to approach the bar or the workout with confidence. Trust in your training, even if you’ve just started, and approach each movement with a purpose. It really does make a difference!

Aggression

Learning to be aggressive took a while, but it sure helps!

 

7. It Has the Potential to Change Your Life

Though I started at CrossFit Love just to stay in shape, I’m grateful for how my experience there continues to change the way I see myself. Strength is commended and encouraged. Our bodies are celebrated for what they can do and not what they look like. We don’t have mirrors to analyze and critique aesthetics, and how I’m perceived is the furthest thing from my mind when I walk in the gym door. I spend at least an hour a day with people who are dedicated, motivated, inspired, inspiring, and full of energy. CrossFit Love is my home away from home, my safe place, and a place I can go where I know I’ll always feel comfortable. If you’re open, setting foot in a CrossFit gym just might change how you see yourself, too.

I could go on for days about what I wish I knew when I started and what I know now. If you’re a CrossFit enthusiast, what do you wish you knew in your first few months? If you’re considering starting out, what’s keeping you from giving it a try? Leave a comment!