When it comes to everyday heroes, nurses are among the top. They usually work long 12-hour shifts in a very high-stress environment (which increases cortisol levels). They see the worst of us, and usually bear the brunt of our discomfort; they see death and usually very little sunlight. All these obstacles make it very tough for someone to stay healthy and in shape, even when the very thing they do in their profession is make people feel healthier. As healthcare professionals your health needs to be a priority even when motivation (because of the high stress) and scheduling make it tough to do so. Here are some tips for keeping your workouts going and your nutrition in check.
Supportive community. Sometimes, the days and nights in the ER get stressful…who am I kidding this is EVERY day. Having a great group to work out with makes it a lot easier to keep going in. Group classes are the solution for this. When you do group classes at CrossFit 1Pulse and you haven’t shown up in a week, you’re getting texts and calls from everyone motivating you to come in. You almost feel part of a team that you don’t want to let down and it’s a huge motivator for going in.
Schedule. We can all make excuses about not having enough time, but we all have an hour. If you don’t, we have to make room for it. The best thing to do here is plan ahead! Check out the calendar with your work shifts and plan out when you want to come in during the week. Be realistic, do you feel better working out before/after your shift? The same goes with your nutrition. On your day off, make some healthy food in bulk and meal prep for the days you work. Grill some chicken breasts and you have great fuel for the week to come. Make sure you get it all in Tupperware so you don’t have to worry about it later on.
Look, we’re not saying it’s easy. I see it every day with the nurses at our box. What I’m saying is that it IS possible to take control of your body even under the most stressful of careers. If you have any questions or want to learn about how we can help, shoot us a message or set up an appointment to meet with us about your goals.
We’re starting a little series called “Progressions” where we include different progressions for practice after class or on your own. Today, we’ll start with the one movement we get the most questions for, the pull up!
Usually when talking about the pull up and what’s keeping you from getting your first one we talk about both pulling strength and grip strength. When we scale pull ups in WODs we usually go with jumping or banded pull ups. Although you do get a good conditioning stimulus, you don’t get much pulling or grip strength benefits from doing them. Here are a few exercises that we can work on to get the necessary strength for these strict pull ups (remember take your time and make the variations as tough as possible for optimal strength):
The Dead Hang
With palms facing away from you, jump on the bar and hang with a timer. If you can’t hang on a bar for 30 seconds, there’s a good chance you can’t perform a strict pull up either.
The Ring Row
Start with the rings by your hips. Walk back to full arm extension and then lean back so that your feet start creeping back towards the rings. The lower you go, the harder the pull will be so play around with this. Make sure when you pull your body up to the rings you maintain a nice hollow position with active shoulders. Our goal will be to get as horizontal as possible while still maintaining perform form.
Sitting Pull ups
These are great for simulating even closer what a pull up feels like. You’ll set up the kids bar or a barbell to a height where you’re hanging or your butt barely touches the ground. You also want to be behind the bar so that it allows you to pull straight up and not horizontally. Start with your feet on the ground and knees bent and as you pull your chin to the bar, use your feet enough to barely make it up. As you get stronger you’ll be able to put a plate or a box underneath your feet so that the pull is even more demanding.
This is the finisher. Jump yourself as high as you can and lower yourself with control over 4 seconds. Start by getting your eyes to the bar and then lowering with control and eventually get to the point where your chest touches the bar and then lower down.
Sitting Pull ups 3×6, Rest 1:30 between sets
Negatives 5×4, Rest 1:30 between sets
Ring Rows 4×8, Rest 1:30 between sets
Dead Hangs 3 x FAILURE, Rest as needed
Sitting Pull ups 3×5, then 1 x FAILURE, Rest 1:30 between sets
Negatives 5×5, Rest 1:30 between sets
Talk to your coaches and they’ll point you towards the right direction with the movements and progressions. Happy pulling!
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You step up to the bar and start to sweat. The workout calls for a bazillion pull ups and you can already feel your hands ripping just thinking about how to conquer this. You could use gloves, but those always slip off the bar or fatigue your grip more than they are worth. What do you do!?
As you can see, I love them. I compete in them and swear by them. They just really feel like nothing is in between me and the bar. But I still do chalk up with them just as you should with any hand gear. It helps with grip. One thing they seem to not address on the site is the care of their gloves. After a few workouts, I find that these can start to smell quite ripe. What I do is throw them in the wash with my regular laundry on a cold wash with a mild detergent. Then, I let them air dry. That kills the smell and keeps them going strong. I will also sometimes use a odor spray from WOD Welders to spritz on them after workouts. The peppermint in the spray works great.
If you want to check these gloves out, check out their site here.
I just ordered my second pair and it did take about 2 weeks to ship. Mine should be here any day now. You can also follow them on instagram @barehand.gloves Tell them @liveliftrun sent you! Check out Amber’s blog here
Here at CrossFit 1Pulse we love success stories. Whether you just got your first pull up, ran your first 5k, or lost 20 pounds, we celebrate it all. Today’s success story includes a more unique story of a first year law school student named Andres and how CrossFit has helped him stay on track during his first year. We know he’s very busy with school all day so we decided to keep it to two questions:
How has CrossFit benefited you on your first year of law school?
This is very easy for me! Law school is a lot of work, and if you don’t manage your time correctly you won’t make it. You have to prioritize the things you want the most and for me that 1 hour where I can get away from the books and focus solely on getting through a tough workout is huge. So, my time management alone is one of those things that has greatly improved. Mentally, these workouts leave you feeling great. You come in mentally exhausted from the school grind all day and come out feeling refreshed and with a great sense of mental clarity. I like to start my day with a great workout at 7am because the energy it gives me throughout the day is like no other. Is it always easy waking up at 6am to get ready for a workout? Of course not, but the feeling afterwards is well worth it!
Would you recommend CrossFit to your fellow students?
Oh, definitely! You just have to try it and see for yourself! Is it easy? Nope. I’ve learned that you have to work for all the good stuff in life. Are there days where you just don’t want to move out of bed? Sure, but the community at CrossFit 1Pulse is always pushing me to get in there and to get better! I try to bring CrossFit up to all my friends because I’ve seen all the benefits from it. At NSU we have a great facility but I enjoy clearing my mind from everything that is related to school which is why I head on over to CrossFit 1Pulse down the road.
The poor kid had to go finish writing a paper but as you can see, there are a lot of benefits to getting a good workout in for you students out there. If you’ve been feeling tired all day and are looking to get a great workout in less than an hour, then come check us out and workout with Andres for free (we want you to try it first)!
E-mail us at email@example.com or call us at 754-223-4163 for more info.
Who doesn’t love a great, sloppy, tasty barbecue sandwich? I personally love barbecue anything. Give me ribs, pulled pork, pulled, chicken, boston butt, barbecue sauce on sweet potato fries…….Oh the list could go on and on! But, a lot of barbecue sauces have a crap load of sugar and calories. While there isn’t anything wrong with that on occasion, sometimes you need to dial in that diet to eat clean, maybe a little Paleo, and get on track for a competition (Crush Games 2015 prep anyone?!). Insert, Paleo-ish Barbecue pulled Chicken. And if that wasn’t enough to draw you in, this is made in the crockpot so you literally do not have to do anything but throw all the ingredients in the pot, stir it and let it sit for 5 hours. Seriously! Go to work, go workout, do whatever you want. Dinner, or even lunch, will be ready when you are done.
Paleo-ish Barbecue Pulled Chicken Crockpot style
8 ounces low sodium tomato sauce (should be as minimal ingredients as possible!)
4 ounces (in a can) chopped green chiles or 3 large raw diced
3 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoon Honey
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste (should list as few ingredients as possible)
1 Tablespoon Coconut Aminos or Worcestershire Sauce
2 Teaspoon Ground Mustard
1 Teaspoon Chili powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast (cutlets preferred, trimmed of fat)
1 Small Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
1. I like to mist my crockpot with olive oil or wipe it with a coconut oil to prevent sticking first, but you do not have too. Stir all of the ingredients up to, and including the salt, together in the crockpot. Make sure it is well mixed.
2. Dice or crush garlic cloves and add to mixture.
3. Add in the chicken breast whole, no need to shred them now. It is MUCH easier later.
4. Slice onion as preferred. I used slices, but you could dice it as well. Add this to the top of the chicken and around the sides in the sauce.
5. Let cook on High for about 4.5 hours. Yours may have just a 4 or 6 hour setting. In this case, use the 4 hours for thinner cutlets, or the 6 hour if you have thicker breasts. I did 4.5 with cutlets and they were perfect.
6. Once you come home and just before serving, remove the chicken from the crockpot. Enjoy the delicious aroma coming from the pot, then, with 2 forks, drag in opposite directions of each other to shred the chicken. This should happen very easy. DO NOT try to shred this in the crockpot. You will lose chunks in the sauce and it will not all become shredded. Just grab a plate and go to town.
7. Return chicken to the sauce, mix well, and serve!
This made about 5 servings for us. We ate is open faced on 15 grain bread, but it also works well on the lettuce leafs as I mentioned before. You could also top this with some avocado for a boost of healthy fat and add in other veggies that you may like such as corn or diced tomatoes. I would just recommend upping the amount of tomato paste to account for the extra liquids and keep it from being soupy.
Now, as I stated, this is Paleo-ish! Not Paleo pending on how strict you follow it. I tend to eat more clean and unprocessed foods which is where this falls. Please do come back and tell me how you enjoyed this and if you tried tweaking it in anyway! I would love to see your spin on this delicious meal.
Serving Size 150 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Nutrition Grade B+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet
Estimated calories and nutrients from CalorieCount.com and are an estimate only! Yours may differ slightly based on portion size, type of chicken used (cutlets and breast are the leanest!) and brands used.
Check out more posts by Amber at her blog!
You get off of work, head to your car and check the workout for the day one more time before heading to the house to change. Yep, that WOD with 5 rounds is still on there…. and so are the 800 meter runs in every round…… and the 50 double unders…… As I sit there and think I have no energy for this today, I know in the back on my mind that I am in the last week I have left of training before I taper next week for my first HUGE individual CrossFit competition. I have to muster not only the mental willingness to go home, walk past my bed, change and drive 20 minutes to the box, but also wake my body up and be able to put in a quality workout and not just “go through the montions”. Because when you are training for a competition, or a race, or anything that matters, it isn’t always about how much you do, but what you do.
As a mom working 2 jobs, running crazy every day with homework battles with the kids, making dinner, and also making time for my own homework, my days are long and I end up exhausted by time I am going to workout. But I love it. Deep down, I KNOW I want to be there. I just need to get my body in gear! Enter……. GamePlan! More specifically, their pre-workout supplement called “Pump”. Pretty much, the name says it all. It pumps you up for what you are doing. As a sponsored coach of theirs, they sent me this to try in addition to their protein (more on that at a later date!). Anyone that knows me, knows that free or not, I am pretty vocal about the things I love and the things I hate. If it sucks, it sucks! But this! This stuff is amazing!
So here is the inside scoop on this stuff. Yes, this stuff works and yes it taste great! That is the short of it. Here is the long (but still short!) of it.According to the site, Pump is:”Even the most focused fitness enthusiast needs a little boost from time to time. This is where science supported supplementation helps to address every angle of incredible performance, intensity, strength, focus and endurance.
- The powder clumps…. A lot! I tend to take a butter-knife and pound the crap out of the big clumps to make them manageable. But really, they dissolve great and the drink is smooth.
- It’s a little more in price than others. If you take a half scoop like I do, you can turn that 30 serving into a 60 serving and it makes it a little better. Also, you can sign up through my link and save 10% off your order. When you think that Pump actually taste great, is a great working and clean drink, and you can save that 10%, its not a bad deal at all, just $0.75 a serving (at 60 servings) or $1.50 a serving (for 30 servings).
- To get the 10%, you end up on a auto-ship program. BUT! It is very easy to cancel or postpone your shipment online. Any really, you are going to use this every workout so you will need more anyways in a month. 😉
I’m always amazed at how well our athletes perform on a daily basis. We have some really developed athletes and some a little underdeveloped newer athletes but they all always surprise me. I was sitting around thinking about who our best athletes and members are and realized that they’re almost all moms! I started jotting down some of the qualities these moms possess that has made them such great athletes. Check out my top 3:
3. Humble and ready
These women are the leaders of their household and are the ones that are looked upon to fix and lead everything. So with this in mind, you would think our moms would be full of pride and not be as open to listen to me. This is absolutely not the case. These ladies put their pride aside, stay humble and are always trying to listen and learn. Taking in knowledge and applying it is one of those qualities that has made them such great athletes and people. They understand that they will only get better if they continue this and they’re a joy to teach because of it.
2. Nutrition habits
When our ladies first joined I told them that to maximize results, they need to eat right. They listened and are reaping the benefits from it. Not only are they making strength gains but they’re also leaning out. Maybe it’s the fact that they want their kids to eat well so they want to be a great example, but they all eat for the most part very well. Jennifer and Amber for example both understand that they can’t eat junk food every day and get away with it at the gym. They both stick to a paleo-ish diet and both count their macronutrients pretty consistently in order to keep themselves accountable. It’s no surprise that they’re both consistently at the top of our leaderboard in every category. Learn from these ladies and make good nutrition habits a priority if you want to maximize results.
1. Time management
Yeah, sometimes life happens and you can’t make it to the gym but it can’t always be the excuse. This is probably the best trait our fit moms possess. Their day consists of getting their kids ready for school, going to work, taking them to baseball/band practice, picking them up from school, cooking dinner and going to school all at the same time. With such a long day, they could easily throw in the towel and take the day off from the gym that day but they don’t! The gym actually ends up being a little sanctuary for them where they can get away and just focus on working out for a little bit. Making the gym and their health a priority is the first step to securing a time slot in the day for it. They all have big goals they want to reach and they know that they need to set aside 1 hour a day for this. Planning ahead of time their day is what gets them consistently at the gym and performing well.
I think these are great habits and qualities that you as an athlete can learn from. Whether you do CrossFit or not, you will only benefit from following the foot steps the moms at our gym follow. These ladies inspire me to be a better coach and athlete, so be humble, eat well, and show up. Seems very simple and if our busy busy moms can do it, then so can you!
As a coach, I see this daily. The bigger classes always seem a little more motivated and a little more competitive than the one individual who comes for a private session. There’s a reason for this. The benefits to working out in a group setting are well documented and researched. Two things get elevated when in a group setting: your performance (via the Kohler effect) and endorphin levels. Increasing both of these will help you reap the benefits of your workouts so let’s talk about them!
The Kohler effect
In the 1920s, Otto Kohler suggested that a person works harder in a group rather than alone. Kohler studied the German rowing teams and examined how their motivation would change when having to do a task alone compared to in a group. The group setting always out performed the individual setting and now there’s scientific proof of it.
A study out of Kansas State University says we work harder when working out with a partner we perceive — rightly or wrongly, it doesn’t matter — to be just a bit better than we are. The study builds on what’s known as the Kohler motivation gain effect — the idea that less-capable individuals perform better in a group setting — and found hitting the gym with someone thought to be better than ourselves boosts endurance and intensity by as much as 200 percent. Full Study.
Whether you like it or not, we compare ourselves with others to some degree. In a workout, this has shown to improve performance by almost 200% which speeds up results. Optimizing your atmosphere by including yourself in a group setting will ultimately help you reach your goals quicker.
Notice how working out helps relieve some of that stress or anxious feeling you had lingering all day? Yep, endorphins. You’ve all heard about how physical exertion releases endorphins in the body that give you an almost euphoric sensation after the workout. This release of endorphins is actually heightened when in a group setting as well. Researchers from Oxford concluded that endorphin release was greater in group training than individual training when the power and physical exertion remained constant. We all enjoy the feeling, so why not elevate it?
As you can see, working out in a group is great for your motivation and social being. We love our group classes at CrossFit 1Pulse for this very reason. Like-minded individuals working together and pushing each other towards their goals. Can’t beat that, it’s science.
Everyone knows that the right gear can do wonders for the WOD posted on the whiteboard that you are about to tackle. But more often than not, the wrong gear is used for the right reasons, and the right gear used for the wrong reasons. No piece of gear out there will help you lift a weight that you physically do not have the strength for or the proper technique. But when used appropriately, the right piece of gear and give you an edge, aid in reducing pain or discomfort, and keep you moving through the workout.
One piece of gear that I always have on hand are wrist wraps. They are pretty popular in the CrossFit community and can be found in many an athletes bags. With the choice of either the standard cotton strips or a elastic strap with velcro, the color options are endless. But which type should you get and when, exactly, should you use them? Some athletes tend to throw on the wraps whenever there is anything over head or they are on their hands. As with lifting belts, there is a time and a place for wrist wraps. When used at the wrong time, they stunt the development of strength in your wrist flexors and extensors. In addition, using the wrong type for a specific movement can hinder mobility or not provide the support you may be looking for.
There are 2 basic types of wrist wraps. First, and most popular among CrossFitters is the cloth wraps. These are roughly 36”long, 3”wide, and will have about 16”ties. The material is cloth and has zero stretch so you can cinch it down on your wrists (think Chinese Rope Burn!) with a simple twist on your wrist or in the opposite direction, loosen it. This type is thinner and more flexible and provide more movement in the wrist while still giving it some stabilization. They are ideal for any movement that requires your wrist to go into extension as they do not hinder the movement. Think clean and jerks, snatches or overhead squats. You can get these in an array of prints, colors, and designs. My favorite are from WonderWrist Wraps on Etsy (see the promo code below to get a great deal from Allison the owner!). They are high quality, durable and in really fun prints! They last a long time and do not hold smell at all (in my experience at least!).
Your second option in wraps are the elastic wraps that are much thicker than the cotton wraps above. Once they are one, they stay in place and there is no loosening them. Only an off and on. they reduce the range of motion in the wrist so these are perfect for lifts such as bench and presses, but not so great for movements like the clean that require a bigger extension in the wrist. Most of these utilize a thumb loop to hold the wrap in place and will secure with hook and loop fasteners at the end of the wrap. I personally use the TerriFIT extra thick wraps. They are 18″ long and use the thumb loop and velcro for a secure fit. Not only do they work well, they are very affordable as well. You can check them out here. I do not use these as much as my cotton wraps though and much prefer the cotton ones to allow my wrist its mobility.
I have tried some wraps out there in the cloth line that are just not great. Recently, I used a pair from LIVESORE that are, in my opinion, horrible. The material they used is satin like and does not stay tightened with use. Just a lift or two in those and I was re-twisting my wraps. Had I needed them in a workout, I would have a lot more issues with frustration in these. The ones I use from WonderWrist Wraps are a typical thick cotton that grips on to itself after its twisted. Until you reverse twist, they stay in place. To clean them, I throw them in a cold wash with a mild detergent then let air dry. In between workouts, I spray them with a peppermint deodorizing spray (more on that in a later post!) from WOD Welders. My favorite prints from there are the Wonder Woman and the Camo. Those of you that WOD with me know I LOVE these 2! But you know I need to get their awesome bacon ones 😉
One last key point to the wraps of any style. Make sure you are wearing them properly! If they are not touching the bottom of your hand, you have them to low. They should be tight, that is how you get the stability in them. Once you get them wrapped all the way to the tie, keep wrapping the tie around and then tuck it under the tie that is wrapped. Its simple!
As with any piece of gear you use in your workouts, make sure that you are not using them as a way to hide your mobility issues. If you just cannot do it because of mobility, wrist wraps will be like only taking a pain reliever for a broken leg. You might feel better in the beginning, but in the long run, you are going to suffer. Check out this link below for some amazing tips on wrist mobility: http://www.crossfitinvictus.com/coaches/tips-for-improved-wrist-mobility/
For those of you still wondering and wanting an awesome pair of wrist wraps from WonderWrist Wraps, you can check out their store here at their Etsy Store. Also, if you order before the end of the year, you can use the code LiveLiftRun15 to save 20% off your order. Allison is the amazing owner of the shop and has offered this to all of the CrossFit 1Pulse athletes and followers on the blog so enjoy and show her some love!
Check out Amber’s blog!