Finally Friday! Deadlift+Toes to Rings

WOD

12-10-8-6-4-2

Deadlift
Lateral jumps over your DL bar**
Toes to Rings

Rx’d (M-275 W-165)
Scaled 1 (M-255 W-145)
Scaled 2 (M-225 W-135)

**Lateral jumps-facing toward your plates you must jump over and back  with your feet together to = 1 rep

3rd Nutrition Challenge: Paleo Eating Before and After Pictures

I lost 18 pounds, along with several inches all over, including four inches from my waist…I dropped 27 lbs and leaned out a lot. All my clothes are way too loose for me now…My energy levels are great, my latest blood work showed fantastic results, and my husband and son love the meals I’m fixing every night…I have lost approximately 19lbs (215 to 196lbs), about 4 inches on my waist (38″ to 34″), and 6% body fat (19% to 13% body fat)…I found that boost to my workouts that I had been looking for and noticed that I seemed to have an extra reserve of energy during longer workouts

Like our first Nutrition Challenge and our second nutrition challenge,  we implemented a nutrition challenge for our members this spring. They had eat a strictly defined, but very maintainable, set of foods: naturally raised meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, little starch, no sugar and no bread or pasta. We refer to this as paleo or primal nutrition and is our basic nutrition recommendation for all people.

It’s so easy for people to fill their bodies with excessive amounts of carbs, gluten and other pro-inflammatory choices that are prevalent in Western society.  This challenge represents the beginning for some and the middle of a journey for many.  We seek the best for our members and as you can see from their testimonials, this is not some bs diet. It’s a choice for a healthy life and we hope you see that too.

We selected Bri and Nick as the winners for this challenge, but everyone came out a winner. I’m so proud of all of you!

Bri

Over the last eight weeks, I lost 18 pounds, along with several inches all over, including four inches from my waist. The crazy part – my wedding rings no longer fit and I have to get them resized! I lost 2 pant sizes since starting the challenge, and 5 pant sizes since beginning CrossFit a year ago. Throughout the challenge, I had several PRs both in the gym and outside the gym. My lifts are getting stronger and I can feel myself getting faster along with more confidence. During the challenge, I ran a half marathon, a 10k and a 5k; I dropped over ten minutes from my half marathon time, and 20 minutes from my 10k time. I have so much more energy and have never felt better in my life! Paleo truly works for me and this is a change I have made for the rest of my life. I love finding new paleo recipes and am no longer a ‘picky’ eater and making myself try new foods every week. I thought that the challenge would be harder than it was for me, especially cutting out sugar but now looking back, I can’t believe I ate so badly before. I entered the challenge to become healthier and improve my performance in the gym, which has definitely shown results. I am so thankful for everything!

Nick

This Nutrition Challenge was AWESOME!!!!

I was a little nervous at the start, having tried some different nutrition styles/diets in the past, but have always fallen off the wagon pretty quickly.  Paleo’s focus on quality and quantity, combined with strict supervision in the beginning, helped me to dial in my diet for what was right for me.  As such, I am confident I will be able to continue eating this way from now on because I don’t feel like I’m giving up a ton of food I love, and if I do cheat, I’ve seen how quickly I can get results by getting back on track.  Perhaps more importantly, I felt better eating this way than I have in a long time.  More energy, more consistent and sustained energy, helped get me through the day and through our workouts (especially after a little tweaking in my fat/protein/carb mix and timing).  I also just feel healthier and cleaner – fewer stomach aches, no heartburn and I feel more in tune to my body.  Ok. On to the data points.
Weight Loss: I dropped 27 lbs and leaned out a lot. All my clothes are way too loose for me now.  In addition to losing this weight, I made a lot of gains in the gym, being able to do more pull-ups than ever and returning to my college rugby playing days strength on bench press, cleans and squats.
How I feel: Awesome consistent energy throughout the day – I found I was unconciously drinking way less coffee to get through the day, down from 3-4 cups to 0-1.  popping some almonds and a piece of fruit an hour before doing the WOD helped a lot in terms of powering through our workouts.
Pants Sizes: I lost two pant sizes, at least one jacket size and lost an inch in my neck.  This is awesome – except none of my clothes fit anymore.  My shorts literally fall to my ankles when I walk!

Sam

I’m not sure how many actual pounds I lost since I don’t have a scale, but nearly all of my pants are too big for me now, and not just by a little, by at least a full size or two. I have to buy some new smaller clothes, which is a nice problem to have! I can definitely see a difference in my body composition, especially in my stomach and my arms.

The first week of strict Zone dieting was tough for me from an energy perspective, but once I got through that I was fine. Now that the Challenge is over, I’m still eating a fairly strict Paleo diet and plan to keep doing so. My energy levels are great, my latest blood work showed fantastic results, and my husband and son love the meals I’m fixing every night. Thanks for offering the Challenge and for guiding us through it!

Alex

I started easing into paleo back in December, and up until the start of the nutrition challenge I lost 5lbs, 2 inches on my waist, and 2% body fat.  After starting the nutrition challenge and going to strict paleo, I lost another 14lbs, 2 more inches on my waist, and another 4% body fat.  In total, during the last 4 months I have lost approximately 19lbs (215 to 196lbs), about 4 inches on my waist (38″ to 34″), and 6% body fat (19% to 13% body fat).

I leaned out by cutting out all grains, sugar, and dairy products.  I started eating more vegetables like bell peppers every day, and learned to snack on things like cashews and almonds whenever I was hungry.  I also learned how much protein I needed to eat every day, and to take the time to cook a decent meal from natural foods.  My energy level and endurance have gone way up in the process, and I am much better about listening to how my body feels based on what I eat.

I may have lost a few pounds of lean mass, which is most likely contributed to an injury that caused me to stop lifting weights for the past 2 months.  However, during that span, I sucked it up and kept coming in to crossfit.  The trainers helped me scale the workouts to my ability so I was still getting a good aerobic workout that would challenge me, help build endurance and keep me in shape.

I am confident this will translate into a great beach volleyball season, especially when I have to dig in late in the day after playing 8hrs in 100deg temperatures (normally a point when I hit a wall and crash due to lack of energy and endurance).

Jen

I finally committed to the nutrition challenge after over a year of participation in Crossfit. I realized that I didn’t have any more excuses and was looking for something to rock me out of the rut that I’d fallen in to with my workouts. Plus, Kyle told me that I would never be able to do it…great reverse psychology.

I didn’t begin the challenge committed to numbers, so I’m not sure how much my weight or measurements changed. I did lean out considerably in the first few weeks, which hasn’t happened in a very long time. I attribute a lot of this to total abstinence from alcohol and Diet Dr Pepper…also hasn’t happened in a very long time. I was visibly smaller, and my clothes were much looser. Once the challenge became a bit less strict, and as my workouts progressed, I think I gained back some of that weight as muscle. I found that boost to my workouts that I had been looking for and noticed that I seemed to have an extra reserve of energy during longer workouts. I  woke up with a ton of energy in the morning, and slept hard at night. I did have an early evening drop in energy, but I may have needed to consume a bit more after workouts. Plus some cheat days may have thrown things for a loop.
It’s tough to tease out the specific effects of the Paleo nutrition versus the overall increased commitment to healthy diet and consistent exercise. Regardless, the challenge was a very positive experience for me. I have a much better awareness of what I put in my body and the reasons that I may crave something (tough day of counseling kids = desire for alcohol or carbs). I am super sad that the challenge may have ruined my love for cereal and diet soda, but it did force me to cook more (much needed), introduced me to new kinds of veggies and healthy fats, and broke some bad habits. I look forward to incorporating some of my new habits into an approach to nutrition that can become more of a lifestyle.

Fashaya

Elizabeth

I did not lose weight, but that was not my goal (I’ve been eating Paleo for over a year now). I did, however, gain more lean mass and finally drop to under 20% body fat, which was my goal. I sleep very well and my recovery times after hard workouts are quick — I have a lot of energy throughout the day. I PR’d on many of my lifts, including a 40# overall PR on my CFT. Gymnastics movements keep getting easier, and I hope to have a muscle-up any day now… As for ‘cheat meals’ or ‘cheat days’… well I no longer desire them — I would much rather have a plate of sweet potato fries than an ice-cream sandwich when I wish to indulge. Ah yes and I developed a new fondness for chopped liver and discovered beef bacon (YUM).

2nd Nutrition Challenge: 8 Weeks of Paleo + Primal Eating and CrossFit Training with Result Pictures

I lost 17 pounds. I also went down one full pant size…I have lost 8 pounds and have definitely toned up; I went down two pant sizes…I found myself with a big increase in energy, both mentally and physically…I stopped having those feelings of guilt over eating terribly, because I wasn’t…And I Feel STRONG!! This is really the best feeling ever!!!

Similar to our popular Spring 2010 Nutrition Challenge, we implemented a nutrition challenge for our members this fall. They had eat a strictly defined, but very maintainable, set of foods: naturally raised meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, little starch, no sugar and no bread or pasta. We refer to this as paleo or primal nutrition and is our basic nutrition recommendation for all people.

It’s so easy for people to fill their bodies with excessive amounts of carbs, gluten and other pro-inflammatory choices that are prevalent in Western society.  This challenge represents the beginning for some and the middle of a journey for many.  We seek the best for our members and as you can see from their testimonials, this is not some bs diet. It’s a choice for a healthy life and we hope you see that too.

We are so happy you all made it through this challenge.  We chose Kyle, Lydia and Hillary O as the winners, although everyone truly made great accomplishments in this challenge.  I’m so proud of all of you!

Pictures after the break…

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Client Testimonial: Lydia

I think the best thing about the gym is the people I’ve met and the friendships I’ve made. Nothing seems too bad when you have 15 other people to commiserate with afterward. The camaraderie is priceless… the gym attracts really fun, passionate people and I feel lucky to know so many of them.

Since Lydia was one of the winners of the nutrition challenge and has made some impressive gains over the last 18 months, I asked her to answer a few questions for me about the gym. The following answers are unedited.  Thanks, Lydia!

What was your athletic background prior to starting at CrossFit Charlottesville?

Growing up, I played soccer casually, never anything more serious than pick-up games or intramural teams after high school. I was the fastest runner in my grade when I was about 8! I was on a summer swim team for a few years as a teenager. I did some kick-boxing in college, which I enjoyed, but after graduating I didn’t really have a good fitness routine. Typically, I would get geared up to “get in shape”, go to the gym a few times a week for a few months, and then get side-tracked and quit for six months or so. I tried a lot of things to make myself work out, including training for and running the Charlottesville ten-miler, but nothing stuck.

Can you talk about some of the issues you had before you joined the gym?

Before joining, I was just recovering from some pretty bad back problems, which had kept me mostly sedentary for several months. I was really out of shape and frustrated. I couldn’t get interested in the elliptical/weight machines routine I’d designed for myself. I didn’t have any goals or know what I wanted to get out of working out, so it’s not too surprising that I wasn’t having any success staying motivated.

Why did you decide to join the gym?

I knew right away that I liked the idea of CrossFit. Jason had heard of it first, and I don’t think he thought it was something I’d ever be interested in, considering how much I usually complained about working out. However, I love a challenge! I also like doing things a little bit off the beaten trail. I’d looked at the main site a few times, but really had no idea how to get started on my own. When I heard CrossFit Charlottesville was opening, I was definitely excited and showed up the first day. After a three minute WOD left me struggling to buckle my seatbelt on the way home, I was sold. After that, Jason and I just had to discuss the price and whether we thought we’d really stick with it. He liked it as much as I did, so it wasn’t a hard decision in the end.

What gains do you consider most significant in the gym?

All of my strength gains. I’ve been in and out of cardiovascular shape all of my life, but I’ve always been pretty weak. Watching my lifts increase over time is really gratifying, and I remember I was shocked at how much I improved at the beginning.

How has the gym helped you with things that are outside the gym?

Stuff like carrying groceries has gotten a lot easier, but mainly I think I’ve gotten a much-needed energy increase that helps me in all areas of my life.

What’s the most surprising thing you learned or achieved after joining our gym?

I continually surprise myself at the gym. Honestly, I never thought I would be deeply invested in things like how many double-unders I can do in a row. The biggest surprise was getting my first pull-up. I’d never been able to do one in my life, not even as a kid. The fact that I could do pull-ups five or so months after joining kind of symbolized that I was really accomplishing something here.

You won the performance challenge last year. How do you maintain a  strong commitment to the gym and continue to make gains?

I think I’ll always feel that I have a lot of room for improvement. I want to continue getting stronger and faster. I can probably count on one hand the number of times in the last year that I didn’t go to the gym because I just didn’t feel like it. Having friends in the gym helps keep me accountable, but I don’t actually have any motivation problems. I am the opposite of bored.

What did you get out of the recent nutrition challenge?

Abs, a much better relationship with vegetables, and freedom from the sugar roller coaster. I’m currently trying to figure out how to stay on track without the framework of a challenge. I tend to be all-or-nothing about everything that I do, but I don’t want to quit eating this way forever the first time I have a bad week. I have noticed performance gains at the gym, so hopefully that helps keep me focused.

What are your fitness goals for the next year?

I want to get a ring dip, I’ve been trying to do that for a while now. I need to figure out kipping pull-ups so I can join the ripped hands club. Those are more short term goals; increasing my deadlift significantly is my main long term one.

What would you tell someone in your shoes who might be nervous about joining the gym?

Don’t be afraid of being the weakest, slowest person at the gym. First of all, you probably won’t be, and even if you are, everyone is incredibly supportive and only wants you to improve. (Also, your odds of winning a performance challenge increase!) Your only real competition is yourself. The workouts are hard, but you can do them and they’re fun. It won’t take long before you improve to the point that you can keep up with everyone else.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Fitness and all those other great things aside, I think the best thing about the gym is the people I’ve met and the friendships I’ve made. Nothing seems too bad when you have 15 other people to commiserate with afterward. The camaraderie is priceless. Also, absolutely everyone is inspiring in some way and well worth getting to know. I think the gym attracts really fun, passionate people and I feel lucky to know so many of them.

CrossFit Charlottesville Client Testimonial: JJ

In terms of injuries, last year I trained for 2 marathons by running, and only running. I always felt like I was injured. Since I started CrossFit, I have had NO running-related injuries whatsoever. I can’t say this enough…my cardio has gone up from less running, and my knees don’t hurt. Thank you CrossFit.

It’s becoming a standard to ask people what they got out of our gym when they move out of town.  JJ joined us a little over three months ago and trained about three or four times a week with us. He’s made some pretty impressive improvements to his benchmark Army workouts and earned a spot to get into the competitive Airborne school.  He did this without training for these events and we’re proud that JJ is a walking testament to our fitness community.  We’re sad he’s leaving, but we asked him a few questions about his experience.  His responses are below:

What was your athletic background prior to starting at CrossFit Charlottesville?

I played Football and Baseball in high school. In college I didn’t play any sports, but I was part of the Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Team. Ranger Challenge, for lack of a better analogy, is the varsity sport of ROTC. We trained to participate in events against other ROTC programs like ruck marches, obstacle course, etc.

What sort of training were you doing before starting CrossFit Charlottesville training?

For about the last three years all I’d been doing was running. In December 2009 I discovered CrossFit.

Can you tell me about your PT tests you do in the military and how you performed before and after you started training with us?

The Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) measures a soldiers physical fitness by seeing how many pushups the soldier can do in 2 minutes, how many situps the soldier can do in 2 minutes, and how quickly the soldier can run 2 miles. When I started Crossfit Charlottesville, I could do 59 pushups, 80 situps, and run 2 miles in 13:13. I recently took the test again. I did 69 pushups, 81 situps, and ran 2 miles in 12:31. Also, I competed for and earned a slot at Airborne school. To earn a slot, I competed against 17 of my classmates for 10 slots. I came in 8th place overall. Our ranking was determined by how quickly we could run 5 miles, how many max pullups and chinups we could do, and our final APFT score (as mentioned above). Most notably, based in large part because of the ridiculous effects Crossfit has on one’s cardiovascular system (in my opinion), my 5 mile run time went from 34:49 to 33:37 in just over a month. This was good enough to be the fourth best time.

Why did you decide to join CrossFit Charlottesville? What goals did you have for yourself?

I fell in love with CrossFit and wanted to continue working out in a positive environment surrounded by motivated people. Even though I could have done some of the workouts at a local gym, NOTHING replaces the motivation from working out under the watchful eye of an attentive staff who pushes you to your max.

How has your fitness and health changed after training at CrossFit Charlottesville. How have do you feel when you think about energy levels, nutrition, injuries and recovery times?

Immediately after a workout I feel alive. It puts me in a great mood for the rest of the day and makes it easier for me to stay focused on my homework despite a long day in Army law classes. Also, I sleep better whenever I do CrossFit. Most importantly, I’m more motivated to eat healthy before and after a workout because I know how proper fuel speeds up recovery. I don’t like the idea of wasting a great workout by going to Five Guys and ordering 3 burgers.

In terms of injuries, last year I trained for 2 marathons by running, and only running. I always felt like I was injured. Since I started CrossFit, I have had NO running-related injuries whatsoever. I can’t say this enough…my cardio has gone up from less running, and my knees don’t hurt. Thank you CrossFit.

What’s the most surprising thing you learned after joining our gym?

After spending a few months in Boston at Cross Fit Fenway, I didn’t know what to expect in Charlottesville. What I’ve found is that Cross Fit gyms attract the same awesome people no matter where you go. All of the trainers at Cross Fit Charlottesville ALWAYS made me feel welcome. Even though I was only going to be here for less than three months, I always felt like this was my home. Everyone was very supportive and willing to offer advice on form, paleo, strength training books, etc.

What are your fitness goals when you leave Charlottesville?

Compete in a Triathlon
Compete in Sectionals
Run a Marathon in under 4 hours
Run 5 miles in under 32 minutes
Get a Muscle-up
Complete Fran in under 5 minutes
Do Murph at Rx (with my new weight vest!)
Eat Paleo 100% of the time
Row 2000m in under 7 minutes
Just to name a few…

Anything else you’d like to say?

My Fran time before I showed up at Charlottesville was 8:55 rx. I did it a few weeks ago and it dropped to 7:35 rx [6:47 RX on his last day!]. I’ve very proud of these times because on December 14, 2009 I did Fran for the first time. On this occasion I used purple and green bands and a 45lb bar for a time of over 14 minutes.

Changing Member Lives: 8 Weeks of Paleo/Primal Eating and Strength Training with Result Pictures

I lost 8 pounds, 2 pant sizes…lost 6 pounds, lost 3% body fat, and gained 4 pounds of lean mass…lost over 9 lbs and gained a good bit of muscle in the process… lost 12 pounds and 2.5 inches at my waist and hips, dropped 5-6% body fat, etc.

We put together a challenge for our members: improve your life by eating right and doing CrossFit Charlottesville programming.  We also wanted to dispel the popular myths that lead us to believe that fat intake directly equates to body weight, that Zone/Paleo/Primal nutrition are fads and that weight-lifting causes “body-builder arms.”  Here is what we did during the 8 week challenge:

  • Lifted heavy weights 4 to 5 times per week and did short intense workouts most days. Yes, even our ladies lifted heavy weights frequently.  No two pound dumbbells, here. We’re talking big, barbell lifts like backsquats, deadlifts and shoulder presses.
  • Gave strict, zone-based guidelines for food intake during the first several weeks (following paleo/primal nutrition recommendations).
  • Let everyone eat on their own and optionally report quantities to us after that.

We didn’t yell at people for cheating, we didn’t encourage caloric restriction or people starving themselves. We wanted this experience to be educational for people; to give people a real-world, sustainable lifestyle; to demonstrate that they could eat healthy without feeling hungry and make dramatic performance and body improvements in a short period of time.

The results speak for themselves. These picture are not photoshopped and the member accounts are real.  Each one of these members changed their lives for the better and learned a lot about living healthy. We are really, super proud of their accomplishments. Everyone got stronger and more fit, but also looked a lot better in the process.

Results and pictures after the break…

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Member Testimonial: Dolly

Workout #1, my Crossfit On-Ramp comrades and I muscled our way through a tough workout.  Today, eleven workouts later, we repeated that same workout from day one, and we crushed it.

Workout #1 & #12:

  • Row 200 m
  • 3 rounds of 15-12-9 repetitions of air squats, push-ups, and ring rows
  • Row 200 m

My time during the first workout was 7:12.  Today, I shaved off almost 2 minutes with a 5:21.  Yeah!  Also, in four weeks, I’ve lost one size and most of my winter pudge.

By the way, one night after a workout, three of us did tire lifts and flips–that is one heavy tire, let me tell ya!

If you think Crossfit sounds too intense for new moms, think again.  Two of us in on-ramp were breastfeeding moms…one mom just had a baby three months ago!

Read the full account at Dolly’s Traveling with Baby blog.  Dolly is licensed chiropractor practicing in central Virginia.  By day, she is the President and Director of a health care practice–working with patients of all ages to optimize health and wellness.  Picture is from her website.

Actual Member Testimonials & Praise

We recently did a anonymous survey of our members to evaluate their overall experience with the gym as well as specific issues. We left one open box for people to write whatever they wanted. Here is what our actual members wrote (without being asked to give us testimonials):

You guys are doing a kick ass job, keep up the great work!

I have very much enjoyed the program and the trainers and find the environment to be highly motivating!

This is the most consistent I have ever been about going to the gym (i.e. lifting weights) and while I feel I still have a long way to go I am pleased with the results to this point.

My first impression of the price was that it was high but what you provide does have alot of value-meaning lots of individual attention, great enthusiasm,  the trainers are excellent in knowledge and motivation and injury prevention, so in saying all of that I don’t know what to say an appropriate price is for all of the awesome things you have going for you. I would just worry that the price may initially turn some people away thinking that some of the other gyms are more reasonably priced even though you guys provide so much more in terms of everything above.

I would never work this hard on my own.  Without the motivation from the trainers, I wouldn’t have come as far as I have since I started.  CrossFit is literally a life changing experience for the better!

All in all, I think all the trainers are doing a fantastic job.  The programming seems well suited to the the general needs and abilities of the clientele, and people really seem to be getting results.

We’re starting a free intro week on January 2nd. Come change your life and experience what’s great about CrossFit Charlottesville. Tell your friends. All athletic backgrounds welcome!

CrossFit Charlottesville Athlete Testimonials: Chris Garay Wins His Sprint Triathlon

Chris on bike close up

Chris Garay:

About a month after starting at CrossFit Charlottesville, I could really feel like I had an “extra gear” so to speak when it came to my biking and running workouts…In the spring and early summer I had recurring knee pain in my left knee from biking and running. Ever since I started training at CrossFit Charlottesville in July, I have been totally injury-free, simple as that.

At CrossFit Charlottesville, we deliver results.  It’s a pretty simple formula: functional movements, constantly varied, done at high intensity.  We measure results over time. We see progress in the gym, but that isn’t the only place we see top notch performance.  A lot of our athletes train for outside the gym. Chris, a recent college grad, answered a few questions about his training and his 1st Place finish in the Richmond Sprint Triathlon.

If anyone was wondering about his time breakdown…

8:09min 400m pool swim
36:39min 12mi bike
19:55min 5k run

Read the full interview after the break. Read More