CrossFit South Rockland

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Good Night’s Sleep Isn’t a Luxury; It’s a Necessity

May 30, 2011

A Good Night’s Sleep Isn’t a Luxury; It’s a Necessity

In my younger years, I regarded sleep as a necessary evil, nature’s way of thwarting my desire to cram as many activities into a 24-hour day as possible. I frequently flew the red-eye from California, for instance, sailing (or so I thought) through the next day on less than four hours of uncomfortable sleep.
But my neglect was costing me in ways that I did not fully appreciate. My husband called our nights at the ballet and theater “Jane’s most expensive naps.” Eventually we relinquished our subscriptions. Driving, too, was dicey: twice I fell asleep at the wheel, narrowly avoiding disaster. I realize now that I was living in a state of chronic sleep deprivation.
I don’t want to nod off during cultural events, and I no longer have my husband to spell me at the wheel. I also don’t want to compromise my ability to think and react. As research cited recently in this newspaper’s magazine found, “The sleep-deprived among us are lousy judges of our own sleep needs. We are not nearly as sharp as we think we are.”

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Habitual coffee consumption and risk of hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective observational studies

Habitual coffee consumption and risk of hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective observational studies1,2,3

  1. Zhenzhen Zhang
  2. Gang Hu
  3. Benjamin Caballero
  4. Lawrence Appel, and
  5. Liwei Chen
+Author Affiliations
  1. 1From the Department of Epidemiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI (ZZ); Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA (GH); the Center for Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD (BC); the Department of Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD (LA); and the Program of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Louisiana State University Health Science Center, New Orleans, LA (CL).
+Author Notes
  • 2 Supported by Louisiana State University Health Science Center, School of Public Health (to ZZ and LC); Pennington Biomedical Research Center (to GH); and the Center for Human Nutrition, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (LA and BC).
  • 3 Address correspondence to L Chen, Program of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Louisiana State University Health Science Center, 1615 Poydras Street, Suite 1400, New Orleans, LA 70112. E-mail:


Background: In 2 meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials, increased coffee intake was associated with slightly higher blood pressure. However, these trials were short in duration (<85 d).
Objective: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analyses of long-term prospective studies that examined the association of habitual coffee consumption with risk of hypertension.
Design: We searched electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Agricola, and Cochrane Library) through August 2009 with the use of a standardized protocol. Eligible studies were prospective cohort trials that examined the association of coffee consumption with incident hypertension or blood pressure.
Results: From 6 prospective cohort studies, a total of 172,567 participants and 37,135 incident hypertension cases were included. Mean follow-up ranged from 6.4 to 33.0 y. Compared with the lowest consumption [<1 cup (≈237 mL)/d], the pooled relative risks (RRs) for hypertension were 1.09 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.18) for the next higher category (1–3 cups/d), 1.07 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.20) for the second highest category (3–5 cups/d), and 1.08 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.21) for the highest category (>5 cups/d). A dose-response meta-analysis showed an inverse “J-shaped” curve (P for quadratic term < 0.001) with hypertension risk increasing up to 3 cups/d (RR for comparison of 3 with 0 cups/d: 1.07; 95% CI: 0.97, 1.20) and decreasing with higher intakes (RR for comparison of 6 with 0 cups/d: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.89, 1.10).
Conclusion: The results suggest that habitual coffee consumption of >3 cups/d was not associated with an increased risk of hypertension compared with <1 cup/d; however, a slightly elevated risk appeared to be associated with light-to-moderate consumption of 1 to 3 cups/d.
  • Received September 9, 2010.
  • Accepted March 7, 2011.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One Runner’s Suffering Is Another’s Inspiration

Do we run because we like the pain?
Peter Sagal, the host of the NPR show “Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me” — who happens to be an avid runner and a columnist for Runner’s World — thinks so. Or at least that’s what he told me in a recent e-mail exchange.
“What is it about the pain of endurance sports that’s fun?” he asked me. He added that when asked why he keeps running races, “I the pain is sort of the point? Because it’s good to push yourself to the point of breaking?
“My thesis is that the pain isn’t an obstacle to achievement so much as part of the achievement. We actually want to suffer.”
Um, no, I replied. I don’t want to suffer; I run, among other reasons, for the euphoria. My friend and running partner Jennifer Davis, whom I brought into the discussion because she runs more than anyone else I know, agreed with me and added that people endure pain for a variety of reasons.
In races, for example, many of us keep going because we want to see how well we can do. Some do it because they are stubborn. The Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, who took pride in finishing every race, wrote in his book “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” (Knopf, 2008) that he wants his epitaph to read, “At least he never walked.”

Monday, June 27, 2011


Workout #1
Run 200m
40 pull ups
Run 400m
60 push ups
Run 600m
80 sit ups
Run 800m
100 air squats
Run 1000m

Workout #2
20 minute AMRAP
KB snatch 5/5
Double unders 15/ singles 60
15 lunges

Workout #3
1 prowler push
250 run
2 prowler push
250 run
3 prowler push
250 run
2 prowler push
250 run
1 prowler push

Jump Rope Skill Transfer for Endurance Pt.1

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Can you build strength with the Olympic lifts?

Can you build strength with the Olympic lifts?
 5/11/2011  by  Glenn Pendlay
In a recent conversation with Greg Everett we discussed those who do not believe that the Olympic lifts can build strength.  I have often shaken my head at this, because all the evidence I have seen points to the opposite conclusion. Greg made an interesting observation that upon further thought seems to go a long way towards discovering the origins of this attitude.  He brought up the example of a man who both squats and deadlifts 280kg, but can only snatch 80kg and clean 110kg. This is an extreme example, but it would seem that such people do exist, and they lack the ability to perform the lifts at a meaningful percentage of their maximum strength.  The quality that is lacking might simply be skill at the lifts.  Maybe he is a complete beginner and has not properly learned the lifts.  Maybe he lacks the flexibility to arrange his body in a position where his strength can be properly utilized on the lifts.  Maybe he simply lacks the athletic ability to apply significant force at a speed of movement required to do the lifts effectively.  In most people, skill and proper movement patterns can be gained with practice, flexibility can be built, and even a person who lacks natural athletic ability can improve his lot to some extent with proper training..

Friday, June 24, 2011

Skinny Fat

Skinny Fat

by Cody EnduranceScienceWorkout of the Day on May 8th, 2011 54 Comments
Disclaimer: I have been getting a ton of questions about this topic from both inside and outside the gym, from lots of different people, so this isn’t directed at anyone in particular.  Although, if this topic resonates with you, take the time to read it.  This post is more a psychological and analytical approach to body image, Sean has the scientific approach in the comments.
One of the most difficult things to fight as a coach is the thought that “Lifting weights is going to make me ‘bulk up’” from women.  My first response is to shake my head and contemplate shoving my hand in a toaster to cure the frustration… Yet, when I stop and think about it, I honestly like the way CrossFit makes my body look.  And I know there are many of us in the gym that wouldn’t be as enamored with CrossFit if we didn’t see aesthetic results in combination with fitness results, so I do think it is a valuable question that needs to be answered. 150 148 94 48 23 
The first thing you need to do is look around the gym at girls that have been CrossFitting for a long time. If we created “bulky bodies”, you would see them at CFSB.  All the above are CrossFitters that have been with us a long time… Strong, not bulky, don’t you agree?? (Sorry for not including all our awesome girls, but I only went back three pages on flickr).
Definitions and Misconceptions:
To begin, we need to address some misconceptions about how the body works…

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fit for life

Fit for life

Mother of three is one of top CrossFit athletes in Southern California; pursues 'fittest person in the world' title

Star Editor
Elite athlete Shanon Humphrey steals a quick kiss from her 1-year-old son then gets back to her second most important duty — training to become the “fittest person in the world.”
Humphrey, 26, is no stranger to top-notch competition. As Shanon Meyer, the Hesperian won the USA Junior National Hepthathlon Title as a San Diego State freshman in 2003. But on Wednesday — after a vigorous warmup session — Humphrey contended in the last of six weekly workout competitions that had her near the top of the heap. She was rated No. 3 in Southern California in the worldwide CrossFit Games Open going into the last leg.
Beginning in mid-March, Humphrey and about 7,000 other female CrossFit athletes started the workout series. Each week varied, with the final competition a brutal seven-minute session that featured 60-pound thrusters and pull-ups. Starting with three of each, each competitor had to increase the numbers by three until seven minutes was over. After she finished, Humphrey had completed a total of 125 total repetitions. Her final sequence was 18 thrusters and 15 pull-ups.
As one of the top 60 in her region, Humphrey will compete on four weekends from May 27 through June 19. Then, in late July, the top three from each region will compete in the CrossFit Games, which will feature head-to-head competion at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles.
CrossFit dramatically differs from most other gym-based training facilities. CrossFit stresses total fitness and utilizes “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement.”

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Burning Runner: Replacing High-Mileage With Crossfit Endurance

Updated: May 6th 2011 10:39 AM UTC by tmurphy
Is LSD, Arthur Lydiard-style training the only way to train as a distance runner?
Written by: T.J. Murphy

A bit of a snippet from some of the reporting I’ve been doing for stories on Crossfit Endurance that will appear in the June issue. One of the things I’m looking into–both for myself as a runner and also as a journalist–is digging into the question, ‘Is LSD, Arthur Lydiard-style training the only way to train as a distance runner?’

As someone who has tried to follow Lydiard-style programs for 20 years now–and I say ‘tried’ becaue injuries have derailed me more than I care to think about–there comes a point when you have to ask, ‘Is there another way?’ Because I’ve the traditional approach has been a productive one for me.
Crossfit Endurance–loved by many who follow it, and dismissed by others as ‘snake oil’ (to quote a forum post on the subject) is without a doubt not based on the Lydiard model of training. CFE does away with the idea of periodization and strips the running program down to 2 to 3 running workouts per week, intervals, time trials and tempo runs.

In the past month I’ve been talking to a lot of people about CFE, and recently I’ve been reaching out to ask for feedback from runners and triathletes who have tried it, wanting to know if it worked for them or not. In the coming six weeks, as I prepare for the Rock n’ Roll Seattle race in late June using CFE, I’ll share some of that feedback with you.

Below is a quick bit of reporting from one of my interviews looking into one of the problems that arises from high-mileage training: “Breaking down” or “over-training” types of fatigue. Below are a few notes.

A possible advantage of dumping high-mileage for low-volume, high-intensity training might be overall health and wellness. Dr. Jeff Leighton is a pharmacologist and biochemist with deep roots in the biotechnology industry, and corresponds regularly with CFE’s Brian MacKenzie in developing sports nutrition products like recover protein and fish oil for Stronger Faster Healthier. He says that the deep fatigue produced by high-mileage training is a warning sign of unchecked levels of inflammation, free radicals and muscle loss.

“There’s a spectrum involved with muscle acidosis,” he says. “On the most severe end you have cancer. Why does a cancer patient waste away? It’s because the inflammation is so high the muscle degrades. It’s the same at a milder portion of the spectrum, like when you get a cold, or an infection, and you lose weight. It’s because of these high levels of inflammation.” Leighton explains that the common symptoms that arise from high-mileage training, muscle loss, fatigue and sickness, are cellular inflammation effectscaused by high levels of training stress. In Parker’s novel, “Once a Runner,” it’s called “breaking down” and is portrayed as a necessary steppingstone in the runner’s life.

“While there’s so much good being done from exercise, the athlete induces a lot of damage to their bodies by performing well,” Leighton says. He also says diets high in processed carbohydrates—like the infamous 12,000 calories that Michael Phelps eats that includes literally pounds of pasta—might replenish calories from high-volume training but come at a great cost because his insulin system is taxed so heavily. “I fear that by the time Phelps is 50, he’ll be overweight, with damage to his vascular health, and a Type II diabetic because of the stress he’s putting on his insulin system. There’s so much good to being an athlete, but this is why a couch potato can live longer than an athlete.”

About the Author:
T.J. Murphy is the Editorial Director of Competitor Magazine. A 2:38 marathoner and five-time Ironman finisher, he is the former editorial director of Triathlete Magazine and Inside Triathlon. His writing has also appeared in Outside Magazine and Runner’s World.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Curse Words Help Numb Pain

Cursing, as everyone knows, is awesome. But it's more than that! It's also, according to a new study, a painkiller.
Scientists at Keele University had test subjects dunk their hands in a bucket of ice water—once while swearing and once while "repeating a harmless phrase." Since the subjects were able to keep their hands in the bucket for longer while swearing, the researchers say, there seems to be "a link between swearing and an increase in pain tolerance."
One possible explanation is that swearing "triggers the 'fight or flight' response," raising the heart rate and numbing pain. Interestingly, people who don't normally use bad language (the scientific term for these people is "prudes and nerds") felt the painkilling effect of curse words at a higher rate than people who curse regularly.
So! Next time you are in pain, try out a swear or two, like "the s-word" or "the f-word." And if that doesn't work, just meditate.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Workout #1
Run 1000m
3 clean and jerk
Run 800m
clean and jerk
Run 600m
clean and jerk
Run 400m
12 clean and jerk

Workout #2
*Run 600m (once)*
15 air squats
15 KBS
20 double unders/ 80 singles

Workout #3
Bench or floor press & KB snatch

Sunday, June 19, 2011

2011 CrossFit North East Regional

Check out competition photos here: 

How Sugar Affects the Body in Motion

May 4, 2011, 12:01 AM

How Sugar Affects the Body in Motion

Gary John Norman/Getty Images
Phys Ed
Sugar is getting a bad reputation. A cover article in The New York Times Magazine several weeks ago persuasively reported that our national overindulgence in fructose and other sugars is driving the epidemics of obesity, diabetes and other illnesses. But that much-discussed article, by the writer Gary Taubes, focused on how sugars like fructose affect the body in general. It had little opportunity to examine the related issue of how sugar affects the body in motion. Do sweeteners like fructose — the sweetest of the simple sugars, found abundantly in fruits and honey — have the same effect on active people as on the slothful?
A cluster of new studies suggests that people who regularly work out don’t need to worry unduly about consuming fructose or other sugars. In certain circumstances, they may even find the sweet stuff beneficial.
The unique role that the various sugars play in exercise is well illustrated by anew study published in March in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. It involved a group of highly trained cyclists and their livers. For the experiment, Swiss and British researchers directed the cyclists, all men, to ride to exhaustion on several different occasions. After each ride, they swallowed drinks sweetened with fructose or glucose, another simple sugar often identified as dextrose on ingredient labels. (Some also drank a milk-sugar sweetener.)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day #2 The outcome....

Well... after being singled out in WOD #4.... My overall finish is 17th place.... I don't have the opportunity to advance to tomorrow....

I'll give all of you details when I return to work...

Thank you for all you love and support...


Day #1 of the regionals

As of now I am sitting @ #29..... not too happy with WOD#1's performance & a little misscommunication with a judge on WOD #2.... but it's history....

There is only one thing to do... KICK SOME ASS today!!!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Injuries and Fun

Injuries and Fun
“Accumulating injuries are the price we pay for the thrill of not having sat around on our asses” –Mark Rippetoe
I have been meaning to write a few different pieces for the website. This whole, “only 24 hours a day” just isn’t enough for me to get everything done that I want to. So hopefully this will be the first of a few pieces on training.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The winners for the 30 day challenge!!!

Rick before

1st place Rick 30 days after
The winners

  • Rick Painter 1st place winner of 6 partner sessions
  • Sarena Kopcial 2nd place winner of 4 partner sessions (no photo)

Road to the 2011 CrossFit Games

Hello all:

If you don't already know I will be traveling to Canton, MA today to compete this Friday, Saturday, & Sunday... I will be battling it out for the top 3 spots to go to the finals in Carson, CA...
Day #1 starts tomorrow... 

Wish me luck & I'll keep you posted...


Definitions of 'fit' and 'fitness' vary from person to person

Published: Tuesday, April 05, 2011, 6:00 AM     Updated: Thursday, April 07, 2011, 8:13 AM
Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer 
FITNESS_1.JPGJillian Neimeister balances on the sturdy back of Ron Shearer. Both are active with CrossFit Cleveland West. Neither, though, possesses the stereotypical fit-looking body.
Think hitting a fastball or catching a touchdown pass is tough? Try settling on a definition for the term "fit." Now there's a moving target.
In truth, fitness is an exceedingly slippery concept, one whose meaning varies from person to person and doesn't rest solely on firm, quantifiable standards. Some pin fitness to athletic ability, holding up the likes of Lance Armstrong, while others equate it to overall health.
Yet for all its vagueness, it's also widely linked to appearance, in that many of us wrongly associate fitness with a certain look or physical trait.
"Many people look at [fitness] magazine covers and think that's what they're supposed to look like," says Heather Nettle, an exercise physiologist at the Cleveland Clinic's Sports Health Center.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New evidence that IQ is not set in stone

(Discover)  Ever since there have been IQ tests, people havedebated what they actually measure. Is it "intelligence", is it an abstract combination of mental abilities, or is it, as Edwin Boring said, "the capacity to do well in an intelligence test"? Regardless of the answer, studies have repeatedly shown that people who achieve higher scores in IQ tests are more likely to do well in school, perform well in their jobs, earn more money, avoid criminal convictions, and even live longer. Say what you like about the tests, but they have predictive power.
However, Angela Lee Duckworth from the University of Pennsylvania has found that this power is overrated. The link between our IQs and our fates becomes muddier when we consider motivation - an aspect of test-taking that is often ignored. Simply put, some people try harder in IQ tests than others. If you take this into account, the association between your IQ and your success in life becomes considerably weaker. The tests are not measuring intelligence alone, but also the desire to prove it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Increased Metabolic Rate May Lead to Accelerated Aging

Findings from new study may explain why low-calorie diets are beneficial for human health
Newswise — Chevy Chase, MD— A recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that higher metabolic rates predict early natural mortality, indicating that higher energy turnover may accelerate aging in humans.
Higher energy turnover is associated with shorter lifespan in animals, but evidence for this association in humans is limited. To investigate whether higher metabolic rate is associated with aging in humans, this study examined whether energy expenditure, measured in a metabolic chamber over 24 hours and during rest predicts natural mortality.

“We found that higher endogenous metabolic rate, that is how much energy the body uses for normal body functions, is a risk factor for earlier mortality,” said Reiner Jumpertz, MD, of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Phoenix, Ariz., and lead author of the study. “This increased metabolic rate may lead to earlier organ damage (in effect accelerated aging) possibly by accumulation of toxic substances produced with the increase in energy turnover.”
“It is important to note that these data do not apply to exercise-related energy expenditure,” added Jumpertz. “This activity clearly has beneficial effects on human health.”

In this study, researchers evaluated 652 non-diabetic healthy Pima Indian volunteers. Twenty four hour energy expenditure (24EE) was measured in 508 individuals, resting metabolic rate (RMR) was measured in 384 individuals and 240 underwent both measurements on separate days. Data for 24EE were collected in a respiratory chamber between 1985 and 2006 with a mean follow-up time of 11.1 years. RMR was evaluated using an open-circuit respiratory hood system between 1982 and 2006 with a mean follow-up time of 15.4 years.
During the study period, 27 study participants died of natural causes. Researchers found that as energy expenditure increased, there was also an increase in risk for natural mortality.
“The results of this study may help us understand some of the underlying mechanisms of human aging and indicate why reductions in metabolic rate, for instance via low calorie diets, appear to be beneficial for human health,” said Jumpertz.

Other researchers working on the study include: Robert Hanson, Maurice Sievers, Peter Bennett, Robert Nelson and Jonathan Krakoff of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, in Phoenix, Ariz.
The article, “Higher energy expenditure in humans predicts natural mortality,” appears in the June 2011 issue of JCEM. 

Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society’s membership consists of over 14,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at

Monday, June 13, 2011


Workout #1
AMRAP 15 minutes
5 squat snatch
10 knees to elbows
10 push ups

Workout #2
5 rounds of:
10 pull ups
10 deadlifts
Row 1000m

Workout #3
1 minute of work at each station followed by 1 minute of rest after each effort
Box jumps
Pull ups
Air squats
Push ups

The Biological Passport Part 2: Effective fight or futile failure?

So last week I had a first look at some of the science of the biological passport,and specifically the legal aspects of how that science is interpreted.  Thanks for the great discussion to that post, and especially from those who "dropped by" to share some insights from the passport team itself!  As is often the case (always, maybe), your discussion is twice as good as the original post!

Also, I'm unashamed to admit that on this particular topic, I can't even deliver satisfactory answers to many of your questions!  It's clearly a mighty complex topic, and one that discussion will help grow understanding of.

So today, we forge ahead with what I ended off on, and that it is the question ofwhether the passport is worth the effort, or whether the cyclists are able to "dodge" it so effectively that it's just another attempt by the doping control to catch the dopers from behind.

The origin of this debate come from many sources.  There is certainly a perception, or a swell of opinion, that because the passport sets such stringent limits, it "misses" or fails to detect when doping has occurred.  People point to the lack of convictions as proof of its ineffectiveness.  Hopefully, in that last post, I was able to explain or introduce why this very strict probability limit is applied.  Before we can continue, I must recap very briefly (I won't repeat that mammoth post, don't panic!):

Sunday, June 12, 2011

CrossFit Chronicles: Is it time to consider a special diet?

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 10:01 am | Updated: 11:59 am, Thu Apr 21, 2011.
I've never been one to buy into a specific "name" diet plan. They all seem like fads to me -- not to mention a big hassle -- and while I've always tried to watch what I put in my mouth and get proper nutrition, I didn't want some program telling me what to eat every day. I wanted to keep my options open, and not have to think too much about what was or wasn't on the plan.
Staying in control was going to be a problem for me, whether I was "on a diet" or not. And I'm not going to lie, there are times I enjoy losing control. Don't we all have those moments?
Two things have changed my perspective on diets: A certain digestive affliction I've somehow developed, and CrossFit, the kick-ass workout program I've been doing three times a week for the past seven months.
Other, more serious CrossFitters have told me how either the Zone or Paleo diets have helped them improve their performance in the various CrossFit skills. I could definitely stand to improve in all those skills.
An efficiently functioning digestive system will help me perform better in everyday life, and right now, that's just as high a priority as getting faster, stronger and leaner.
The Zone and Paleo diets seem like they would help me achieve both goals.