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03 Nov

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!?

If you are like me, you want something that is thin, durable, and that won’t get in the way of your workout. Nothing ever worked for me and I tried EVERYTHING! I tried Reebok CrossFit gloves (like jumping on the bar with oil on your hands the leather is so smooth), those pad things with the finger loops on the back (seriously?! These feel like I have pillows on my hands. How am I even suppose to grip!), tape (enter sweat. And its off…..), chalk (re-apply, re-apply, ect….), lifting gloves (not quite a pillow, but it bunches and gives me more rips and blisters!), you name it. But, I am a sucker and I will try anything once. This is where I found Barehand Gloves from RAWW Gear. These are like those half gloves you see some people wearing, but better. They don’t have that tacky glue line in them to “keep them on” and the actual cover is just a thin leather. There is a pull tab for easy on/off, but other than that, they are pretty minimal. They are your bare bones, get to the workout, no frills, amazing gloves, and I love them. Anyways! Let me show you the technology per their site.
I don’t use theses all the time, but I do use them for snatches, kettle-bells swings, high volume pull ups, and anytime it’s extra sweaty at the gym. Building my grip strength is important so I try to use them just when I really need them.
These last a long time too. I have had mine about a year now and the leather is just now completely rubbed out. Though, that being said, I can still use them just fine. I will say that there is a learning curve is you have issues addressing the pull up bar. Just jumping up on the bar and pulling down will cause the glove to fold over on itself and render itself useless. But, once you learn how to properly engage the bar, that does not become a problem anymore.

 

 

 

As you can see, my gloves take a beating. That photo above with my palm up can show you how much wear they have after about a year of use. They look like a mange ridden cat, BUT they are still going strong! I can literally use them for anything from the bar to the rings.

 

Like I said…..EVERYTHING! Anyways, just trust me. You HAVE to try these. At just $25, they are a steal! Not to mention, they are patent-pending. Most gloves cost twice as much.

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

07 Oct

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.

I am a huge fan of chicken breast by the bag. You can usually get a 2.5 pound bag of chicken at Winn Dixie for around $7.99 and it’s usually buy one get one free. Super cheap, and if your just baking it in a casserole or one pot meal, these are great. If you are trying to cut back on your grains, are going Paleo, or just want a lighter version, you can sub the bread for a lettuce leaf. Just make sure you get some sort of carb from either a baked sweet potato or some peas or green beans on the side for energy.
This recipe makes a lighter sauce but it still packs a punch of flavor in it. You do not even really miss the thicker sauce with this meal it’s so good! Not to mention your house will smell amazing when you come home. The first thing that my kids said after we got home from CrossFit this evening was that dinner smelled delicious. Score! Their appetites followed that theme once we sat down as well. The pulled chicken disappeared off their plates before the sweet potato hash I made to go with it. So, without further babble, here is the recipe!

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.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 150 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

173
Calories from Fat

46
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

5.2g
8%
Trans Fat

0.0g
Cholesterol

0mg
0%
Sodium

712mg
30%
Potassium

268mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates

25.5g
9
Dietary Fiber

2.4g
10%
Sugars

10.1g
Protein

8.8g
Vitamin A 22% Vitamin C 22%
Calcium 2% Iron 7%
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!

25 Sep

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!

INGREDIENTS

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.

An amazing combination of focused energy and strength and endurance. Caffeine, L-tyrosine, Captured Creatine, Beta-Alanine and Citrulline.”
You can see that it has the caffeine to get you going. Most pre-workouts have this ingredient and everyone knows what it does. Next, you have Beta-Alanine. This you might know really know about, but if you have ever had a pre-workout drink and got that tingling feeling, you have felt it! Beta-Alanire causes the tingling feeling, but it isn’t harmful. It is responsible for improving your work capacity (as in just do more!), helps with building that lean muscle mass, and delays muscle fatigue. While it is not considered one of your “essential” amino acids, it is really helpful. Couple this with the creatine that is in this and your muscles are set for not only a great pumped up workout (pun intended!) but a great recovery as well. The L-tyrosine is your amino acid that keeps you alert, focused and on track during your workout. Lastly, citrulline is is that boost in endurance and performance over workouts that are lasting more than a few seconds. So what this boils down to is that its great for your WODs, circuit training, running, and anything outside of just a lift or 2.
TASTE/MIXABILITY
So now that we go through the technical “what is this stuff”, let’s get to the real questions. First! Does it taste good? I have tried both the fruit punch and the orange flavors and must say that orange is my favorite! It literally taste like Tang. Mmmm…. The fruit punch is not bad either. Its a mellow taste and easy to drink down. The mix-ability is pretty good with the right amount of water. I typically do 8-10 ounces with half to 3/4 scoop and let it sit for a few minutes to dissolve. Then, a little swirl while I am drinking keeps it great!
HOW YOU WILL FEEL
As far as the effect you get from this, its best to ease into the dosage. I take half a scoop (its a big scoop in there!) and I feel an easy boost in energy, a tiny bit of tingling, and sustained energy through my workout. Taken about 15-20 minutes before the WOD, it works great. I highly recommend starting off with a small dose to see how you react to it since the larger dose may have you sweating or tingling like crazy!
But nothing can be this good right? There has to be a downside otherwise why isn’t everyone using it? Well, I will say this.
THE NOT SO PERFECT
  • 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. 😉
SUMMARY
At the end of the day, it comes down to if you will actually take the product. I love this one and would actually go out of my way to purchase it when I run out. It’s a game changer for me and it taste great (it’s gotta taste good otherwise I’m out!). So do yourself a favor, signup, get the 10% off and try this stuff! You can also click here to see my “GamePlan” that I use from their line
CODES and GOODIES
Use this link to sign up for the 10% off ANYTHING on the site, not just the pump: GAMEPLAN
If you forget that link, just remember to add the promo code “1pulse” at checkout. But that link will prefill it for you. Make sure you come back and tell me what you thought of it and if it worked for you.
14 Sep

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!