A Paleo Summary for Endurance Athletes….

Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls



Paleo Diet
  I condense the Paleo Diet to these ideas:

  • As homo sapiens, we are genetically adapted to a hunter gatherer diet.  The introduction of domesticated animals, agriculture, and processed foods are very recent developments in the scope of evolutionary history.  As such, our bodies are not adapted to a diet derived from these technological development.
  • A proper homo sapien diet replicates the diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

To follow this diet,

  1. Eat plenty of lean meats (fish, poultry, lean beef, wild game)
  2. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  3. Avoid dairy
  4. Avoid starches and sugars (breads, grains, etc)
  5. Avoid processed foods.

Paleo Diet, Endurance Athlete Modified
Dr Condain says that we are genetically suited for this diet.  However, our ancient ancestors seldom did 2 hour runs and 6 hour bikes.  Certainly, they had periods of intense activity, but these where relatively brief and spaced apart. This diet is not well-suited to the needs of endurance athletes: to fuel optimum performance and recovery, so the activity can be repeated after a relatively short time, again and again.

Dr Cordain recognized this in his presentation.  In fact, he and Joe are working on a book that will adapt the ideas of the Paleo Diet to the needs of endurance athletes.  This is where Gordo’s ideas are particularly valuable.  He has begun to apply the Paleo Diet and has modified it to serve the unique requirements of endurance athletes. 

Gordo distills these ideas to what he calls the Key Three:

  1. Majority of nutrition from whole fruits, lean protein and fresh veggies.
  2. Starch and sugar only during and after training.
  3. Eliminate as much processed food as possible.

#2 is the break from the strict Paleo Diet, in order to satisfy the need to quickly replace glycogen stores after exercise.  This ensures the athlete is ready to repeat the activity within a relatively short time.

In summary, I’ll present the Team Crucible Six:

  1. Focus on achieving an optimal body composition that is a good balance between performance and recovery.
  2. Make good food choices rather than avoid foods.
  3. Make a plan, and measure it with the Geekometer.  Do the best you can to follow your plan, not beating yourself if you stumble from time to time.
  4. Get the majority of your nutrition from whole fruits, lean protein and fresh veggies.
  5. Limit starch and sugar to during and after training.
  6. Eliminate as much processed food as possible.

Ang is definitely a Paleo Athlete!

Does a ‘6 pack’ prevent back pain?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 20, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls

This is a great blog from CrossFit Anaerobic:

I read once that only 5% of the population have the ability to attain a true and visible ‘6 pack’ of muscle in the abdominal core, irrespective of diet and training. I am glad that I am not one of that 5%. I don’t feel the pressure to keep something I don’t have so it then affords me the luxury of a glass or 5 of tasty carbohydrate laden Australian cool climate Shiraz every night.

Attaining the ‘6 pack’ of muscle in the abdominal core is a fine balance between genetics, good nutrition (often the low carbohydrate variety espoused by the bodybuilders and fitness competitors) and good training. But does a ‘6 pack’ guard against the dreaded modern day curse of low back pain.? Well I would argue that in fact it may, for a whole bunch of reasons.

“‘6 pack’ holders generally don’t use spine threatening machines like the abdominal curl machine. They are the clever ones who perform controlled ‘floor crunches’ and ‘plank’ type exercises. They don’t need or choose to use these gimmick machines.”

Firstly, in order to have the much sought after ‘6 pack’, you need extraordinary low body fat levels. Interestingly, one of the biggest predictors of low back pain is in fact obesity. Generally people who carry too much weight place too much stress on their low backs in bending due to the extra leverage that the upper torso places on the spine. Clearly, those with a ‘6 pack’ don’t carry any unnecessary baggage to place stress on their spines.

Furthermore, research shows that in the treatment of chronic low back pain, moderate exercise can sometimes be as effective as countless hours of physiotherapy and chiropractic work. Why? Because when you increase from being sedentary to slightly active, you immediately start to use and recruit dormant muscles particularly the ‘core stabilisers’. One would argue that you could directly measure the inner unit (or inner core) muscles of someone who sports a ‘6 pack’ and chances are the muscles will be reasonably functional. It’s because they use these muscles in all the movement that they do.

Those with a ‘6 pack’ generally also have above levels of flexibility. They are training machines who cover all bases including regular stretching. And what we physio’s know is that if you have flexion based back pain – the type caused or exacerbated by forward bending or prolonged sitting – then by stretching your hamstrings and gluteals your back pain should diminish somewhat.

Lastly, those with a ‘6 pack’ actually train their low back muscles and abdominal muscles. There is a lot of truth in the notion that some ‘abdominal’ training exercises place enormous and dangerous strains and pressures on the discs in the low back. For example, the abdominal curl machine (the one you sit on and have a roller against your chest and you ‘crunch’ to bring the roller to your knees) will place massive compressive pressure on the disc and potentially cause a low back injury. But the ‘6 pack’ holders generally don’t do these exercises. No they are the clever ones who do controlled ‘floor crunches’ and ‘plank’ type exercises. They don’t need or choose to use these gimmick machines.

So does that mean that in order to have a pain free low back you need a ‘6 pack’?. Absolutely not. But by implementing these principles, you may increase your chance of having a functional low back;

  1. Lose some weight
  2. Move. Do something as simple as walking, or better still walk in a pool.
  3. Stretch you hamstrings and glutes
  4. Train your abdominals in a smart and sensible manner.

Loud Snoring Predicts Metabolic Syndrome

Posted in Uncategorized on December 10, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls
This is a great article taken from Medpage Today:
Patients with sleep symptoms are at higher risk for developing metabolic syndrome, a prospective study found.
Difficulty falling asleep, snoring loudly, and unrefreshing sleep were significant predictors of metabolic syndrome (P<0.05). Snoring doubled the risk, while difficulty falling asleep increased the risk by 80%, Wendy Troxel, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues reported in Sleep.
Loud snoring also was associated with doubled risks of other metabolic abnormalities, and remained a significant metabolic syndrome predictor after further apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) adjustment, whereas other sleep symptoms were only marginally significant, the researchers noted.
Action Points  <!— —>

  • Explain that patients with sleep symptoms such as difficulty falling asleep, unrefreshing sleep, and loud snoring are at higher risk for developing metabolic syndrome.
The study evaluated 2,000 patients enrolled in an ongoing, community-based prospective heart health study. Patients were ages 45 to 74, lived in or around the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, and had no comorbidity limiting life expectancy to less than five years.
Exclusion criteria included non-black or non-white race, presence of metabolic syndrome or diabetes at baseline, and missing sleep or covariate data at baseline.
The final sample included 812 patients, with a subset of 294 patients agreeing to undergo further evaluation at home in a follow-up analysis adjusted for AHI.
The primary outcome was the presence or absence of metabolic syndrome at the three-year follow-up. Waist circumference, fasting glucose, and lipids were measured at baseline and annually for three years.
Patients were given the Insomnia Sleep Questionnaire and the Multivariable Apnea Prediction Questionnaire to evaluate sleep-disordered breathing and insomnia symptoms. Covariate measures included history of smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activeness, and depressive symptoms.
At the three year follow-up, 14% of patients developed metabolic syndrome. After adjustment for loud snoring, difficulty falling asleep remained a significant predictor (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.05 to 3.02), while unrefreshing sleep showed marginal significance (OR 1.56, 95% CI 0.96 to 2.53).
The significant symptoms also were compared against the AHI. Only loud snoring remained significant as a predictor (OR 3.01, 95% CI 1.39 to 6.55), while difficulty falling asleep was marginal (OR 1.91, 95% CI 0.80 to 4.58).
Researchers noted the study was limited by self-reported sleep disturbance and lack of sleep duration measures. The AHI analysis was limited by small subsample size and the cross-sectional nature of the AHI assessment.
Healthcare professionals should look for common sleep symptoms while assessing a patient due to the measured health risks associated with some symptoms, the researchers concluded, adding that future research could look at subjective sleep complaints and psychological factors affecting patients’ poor sleep related to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Do Cortisone Shots Actually Make Things Worse?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 8, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls

Do Cortisone shots actually make things worse? This a great article taken from the New York Times….

In the late 1940s, the steroid cortisone, an anti-inflammatory drug, was first synthesized and hailed as a landmark. It soon became a safe, reliable means to treat the pain and inflammation associated with sports injuries (as well as other conditions). Cortisone shots became one of the preferred treatments for overuse injuries of tendons, like tennis elbow or an aching Achilles, which had been notoriously resistant to treatment. The shots were quite effective, providing rapid relief of pain. Ballyscanion/Getty Images Related More Phys Ed columns Faster, Higher, Stronger Fitness and Nutrition News . Then came the earliest clinical trials, including one, published in 1954, that raised incipient doubts about cortisone’s powers. In that early experiment, more than half the patients who received a cortisone shot for tennis elbow or other tendon pain suffered a relapse of the injury within six months. But that cautionary experiment and others didn’t slow the ascent of cortisone (also known as corticosteroids). It had such a magical, immediate effect against pain. Today cortisone shots remain a standard, much-requested treatment for tennis elbow and other tendon problems. But a major new review article, published last Friday in The Lancet, should revive and intensify the doubts about cortisone’s efficacy. The review examined the results of nearly four dozen randomized trials, which enrolled thousands of people with tendon injuries, particularly tennis elbow, but also shoulder and Achilles-tendon pain. The reviewers determined that, for most of those who suffered from tennis elbow, cortisone injections did, as promised, bring fast and significant pain relief, compared with doing nothing or following a regimen of physical therapy. The pain relief could last for weeks. But when the patients were re-examined at 6 and 12 months, the results were substantially different. Over all, people who received cortisone shots had a much lower rate of full recovery than those who did nothing or who underwent physical therapy. They also had a 63 percent higher risk of relapse than people who adopted the time-honored wait-and-see approach. The evidence for cortisone as a treatment for other aching tendons, like sore shoulders and Achilles-tendon pain, was slight and conflicting, the review found. But in terms of tennis elbow, the shots seemed to actually be counterproductive. As Bill Vicenzino, the chairman of sports physiotherapy at the University of Queensland in Australia and senior author of the review, said in an e-mail response to questions, “There is a tendency” among tennis-elbow sufferers “for the majority (70-90 percent) of those following a wait-and-see policy to get better” after six months to a year. But this is not the case for those getting cortisone shots, he wrote; they “tend to lag behind significantly at those time frames.” In other words, in some way, the cortisone shots impede full recovery, and compared with those adopting a wait-and-see policy, those getting the shots “are worse off.” Those people receiving multiple injections may be at particularly high risk for continuing damage. In one study that the researchers reviewed, “an average of four injections resulted in a 57 percent worse outcome when compared to one injection,” Dr. Vicenzino said. Why cortisone shots should slow the healing of tennis elbow is a good question. An even better one, though, is why they help in the first place. For many years it was widely believed that tendon-overuse injuries were caused by inflammation, said Dr. Karim Khan, a professor at the School of Human Kinetics at the University of British Columbia and the co-author of a commentary in The Lancet accompanying the new review article. The injuries were, as a group, given the name tendinitis, since the suffix “-itis” means inflammation. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory medication. Using it against an inflammation injury was logical. But in the decades since, numerous studies have shown, persuasively, that these overuse injuries do not involve inflammation. When animal or human tissues from these types of injuries are examined, they do not contain the usual biochemical markers of inflammation. Instead, the injury seems to be degenerative. The fibers within the tendons fray. Today the injuries usually are referred to as tendinopathies, or diseased tendons. Why then does a cortisone shot, an anti-inflammatory, work in the short term in noninflammatory injuries, providing undeniable if ephemeral pain relief? The injections seem to have “an effect on the neural receptors” involved in creating the pain in the sore tendon, Dr. Khan said. “They change the pain biology in the short term.” But, he said, cortisone shots do “not heal the structural damage” underlying the pain. Instead, they actually “impede the structural healing.” Still, relief of pain might be a sufficient reason to champion the injections, if the pain “were severe,” Dr. Khan said. “But it’s not.” The pain associated with tendinopathies tends to fall somewhere around a 7 or so on a 10-point scale of pain. “It’s not insignificant, but it’s not kidney stones.” So the question of whether cortisone shots still make sense as a treatment for tendinopathies, especially tennis elbow, depends, Dr. Khan said, on how you choose “to balance short-term pain relief versus the likelihood” of longer-term negative outcomes. In other words, is reducing soreness now worth an increased risk of delayed healing and possible relapse within the year? Some people, including physicians, may decide that the answer remains yes. There will always be a longing for a magical pill, the quick fix, especially when the other widely accepted and studied alternatives for treating sore tendons are to do nothing or, more onerous to some people, to rigorously exercise the sore joint during physical therapy. But if he were to dispense advice based on his findings and that of his colleagues’ systematic review, Dr. Vicenzino said, he would suggest that athletes with tennis elbow (and possibly other tendinopathies) think not just once or twice about the wisdom of cortisone shots but “three or four times.”

The Top 5 Places For Inspiration….

Posted in Uncategorized on December 6, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls


I found this blog from CrossFit La, check it out……

Where & when do you get inspired? Without thinking about it, I would answer that my ideas come sporadically and randomly. But when I actually sat down to think about it, most of the best ideas I’ve had over the years have come in specific places or situations.

1. In an airplane during a long flight
2. In the car on a long drive
3. During a seminar (topic of the seminar is irrelevant and usually unrelated to the idea)
4. During a long run
5. At 5am, drinking a cup of tea, in an a still, quiet and empty house before anyone else is up.

Note to self… Keep this list and USE IT when “stuck” and in need of a breakthrough. What about you… where do you go for inspiration… and/or what do you do?

The Health Benefits of Snow Shoeing

Posted in Uncategorized on December 3, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls

CrossFitters are always coming up with new and innovative ideas for working out ….

so why not snow shoe for time?

Here is a quick informative video from the people at Livestrong on the health benefits of snow shoeing.

Check it out and let us know other innovative ways of working out in the winter……

3…2…1…. SNOW!!!

“Recovering from High Intensity Workouts”

Posted in Uncategorized on December 1, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls

This is a tremendous article from the Washington Post on “Recovering from high intensity workouts”.

Check it out and post your comments and thoughts as well…..