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Archive for December, 2011

Last Few Hours of 2011

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Another year has past. Our community has doubled in size since this time last year. As we look forward to 2012 I’m just thrilled to be living it with all of you. Whether you come to our facility to train CrossFit, gymnastics, parkour, martial arts or all of the above I’m really looking forward to the progress of all of the athletes that walk through our doors. We’re going to see new PR’s, newly acquired skills, improved health and a slew of gym records.

2012 starts tomorrow morning with the biggest Epic Bridge Run to date. We already have double the participation we had last year. It promises to be another great event. Later we already have gymnastics seminars on the calendar, the 2012 CrossFit Games opens in February, and a host of other events and activities. Be sure to keep apprised of everything going on. If you’re running with us tomorrow see you then, otherwise see you in the gym next year.

An excerpt from Wikipedia on Georges Hébert, “parcours”, and the Natural Method:

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

For the full wiki article visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_H%C3%A9bert

{Georges Hébert (27 April 1875 – 2 August 1957) was a pioneering French physical educator, theorist and instructor.

Hébert was born in Paris. While an officer in the French Navy prior to the First World War, Hébert was stationed in the town of St. PierreMartinique. In 1902 the town fell victim to a catastrophic volcanic eruption. Hebert coordinated the escape and rescue of some seven hundred people from this disaster. This experience had a profound effect on him, and reinforced his belief that athletic skill must be combined with courage and altruism. He eventually developed this ethos into his personal motto, “Être fort pour être utile” (”Being strong to be useful”).  [Italicized and boldened- by the blog author, not as it appears in the article.]

Hébert had travelled extensively throughout the world and was impressed by the physical development and movement skills of indigenous peoples in Africa and elsewhere:

Their bodies were splendid, flexible, nimble, skillful, enduring, resistant and yet they had no other tutor in gymnastics but their lives in nature. }

Of course, as the Wiki article also mentions, Hebert’s teachings heavily influenced the emergence of Parkour, or “The Art of Movement”.

Also, according to the article, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who influenced Hebert taught that through the observation of nature people could arrive at the true methods of physical development and that the final goal of physical education was to

“…make strong beings. In the purely physical sense, the Natural Method promotes the qualities of organic resistance, muscularity and speed, towards being able to walk, run, jump, move on all fours, to climb, to keep balance, to throw, lift, defend yourself and to swim.”   The natural method to these educators was a synthesis of physical, virile and moral development, and not just any of these alone.

Please read the full article and comment on the blog.  How does it relate to CrossFit?  To Judo, or Self Defense?  To Parkour?  To specific sports?  Have you ever trained on an obstacle course or “parcours”?  How about a ropes course?  What did you like/ dislike about it?

CrossFit HQ Hosts Gary Taubes

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

why-we-get-fat-book-review-gary-taubesGary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories and more recently, Why We Get Fat, gave a talk at the CrossFit HQ Seminar in October.  His presentation was recently put on the CrossFit Journal as a free download.

You can watch the condensed version here, or download all three parts here.

For those of you not familiar with Taubes’ work, he is an investigative journalist who has spent a considerable amount of time researching the causes and treatments of obesity.  In the talks, he provides compelling evidence that the “energy balance hypothesis” is incorrect.

“Carbohydrates … drive insulin, and insulin drives fat.  That’s the simplest explanation for what’s going on” he says.  “The only non-pharmaceutical remedy is to restrict or remove the causative agent—i.e., the carbohydrates.”

For those of you who struggle with dialing in your nutrition, or those of you who need a little extra ammunition when talking with people who insist that low-fat diets are the way to lose weight, these videos are for you.  Take notes!

See you in the gym.

Functional Acrobatics

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Generally we talk about the cross over functionality of gymnastics being primarily in kinsethetic development. The diversity and rigorous technique in gymnastics sets up an athlete to learn new things very quickly and to a degree that is not matched by many other disciplines. There are a lot of skills that generally transfer over to other activities directly, but most of the acrobatic elements do not necessarily translate directly. The video is an exception.

One thing to note is the ridiculous vertical jump that Jerome has. This would not have been possible without tremendous explosive hip extension. Now, a dive shoulder roll would have actually been more functional in this case, but it is quite impressive in any case. If this had not across the goal line then the front tuck would have been more valuable. A shoulder roll would result in a downed ball, a front tuck would not.

Free runners often add acrobatic elements to their paths, but this does not generally increase efficiency. Performing flips and twists is fun and puts on a good show, but very rarely would it be the right choice if speed and efficiency were the true demands such as in a foot chase. This video is just a good example of where developing an “air sense” can come in handy. Try some gymnastics classes and learn how to keep your awareness in any situation.

Santa vs Snowman

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Let this be a lesson to all of you…

Merry X-mas & Happy Hanukkah, everyone!

Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

I hope everyone is having a great Christmas day and happy middle of Hanukkah. Enjoy time with family and friends.

Malachi’s Parkour run from the PK, Ninja Warrior & Freerunning inter-gym meet on Dec. 10th, 2011

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

This is Malachi Levvi’s course 1 run (parkour/speed course) from our inter-gym competition on Dec. 10th.  Malachi coaches the Parkour & Freerunning team at Vargas Gymnastics.  Our own  Travis Furlanic used to coach there as well before he moved up to Marin to coach at The Cave.  The other gyms that were represented at the meet were The Cave (of course), and Rohnert Park Gymnastics.  The 2nd course was more Ninja Warrior/ Sasuke style while the third event was a Freerunning challenge judged by Brian Orosco, Zack Weldon from Rohnert Park, & Ryoga Vee.  More on our event and obstacle course training later.

“Bridgepocalypse” Details

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

We’re less than two-weeks away from the 2012 Epic Bridge Run: “Bridgepocalypse.”

Are you ready for this?

Are you ready for this?

Whether the doomsayers are correct or not for this year, I hope you’re all prepared for earthquakes, tsunamis, meteor strikes and all manner of other catastrophes (no zombies this year, though).

If you haven’t signed up, look for the registration clipboards in the gym or talk to a trainer.

Some details:

Price - $10.00 for the event only, but $25.00 if you want to do the event AND get an awesome T-shirt to prove your epic-ness.  These prices double if you want to pay at the event, so make your payment to Jasmin or me (Nick) ASAP.

Place - We’re going to meet at the newly renovated North Parking Area.

Date & Time - January 1, 2012.  You need to be there and be ready to go at 9:30 AM, if you’ve already registered and paid.  If you haven’t registered or paid, you need to be there no later than 9:00 AM.  The event is starting at 10:00 AM on the dot, and we won’t accept late arrivals.

Friends & Family - We allow and encourage you to register with your friends and family.  We just need to have a waiver filled out before they register and pay (they need to be in our system before we can process a payment from them).

Equipment - You’re going to be running across the Golden Gate Bridge in January.  Expect it to be cold and possibly rainy.  Bring what you’d bring to workout in the cold.  You might also want hydration and nutrition that you can carry with you.

See you there! (and in the gym)

Eating Out - Unhealthy and Expensive

Sunday, December 18th, 2011
Great Meal

Great Meal

We talk about nutrition a fair degree, and what I encounter pretty frequently is the question about eating out. “How can I eat right when I eat out?”. “What are the healthy options when eating out?”. Well, unfortunately the answer is not what people want to hear. It is next to impossible to eat properly if you are eating out on a regular basis. The primary motivations of a restaurant are providing a meal that appears large, tastes great and is at a decent price. The price point is a variant factor and some restaurants will overcharge because of the market they are in and the perception of quality is based largely on price. If the restaurant can also convince you that you are making a healthy choice, so much the better for them.

In some minor analysis of nutritional information at some common restaurants I find flat iron stake meals at 1200 calories, a chicken pesto dish at 1100 calories. I was able to get breakdowns for a couple things so I could do a detailed comparison. Now, there are better options than these, but at least I could do an apples to apples comparison here. So I’ve got a burrito made at a restaurant that prides themselves with unprocessed, higher quality ingredients with a focus on health.

Restaurant Burrito: 810 calories, 28g fat, 10.5g sat fat 115mg cholesterol, 1620mg sodium,  91g carbs, 2g sugar,  56g protein.

Home made burrito with same ingredients:  686.9 calories,   15.8g fat,   3.6g sat fat,   71.7mg sodium,   554.6mg sodium,    75.4g carbs,   1g sugar,   62.3g protein

So I’ve got fewer calories, significantly less total and saturated fat, 1/3 the sodium, fewer carbs. If we looked at micronutrients we’d see improvement at home as well.

How about a nice salmon plate.

Restaurant salmon:

310  calories,  22g fat,   5gsat fat,   75mg cholesterol,   500mg sodium,   5g carbs,   2g sugar ,  22g protein

Home salmon:

267 calories,   18g fat,    5g sat fat,     54mg cholesterol,    213mg salmon,   0g carb, 0g sugar,  25g protein

This was not going out of my way to pick ultra high quality ingredients either. This is salmon from a large costco bag of frozen salmon, and run of the mill chicken in my burrito. If you source your products from better sources, the numbers are even better. So let’s look at cost. Restaurant burrito $8. Home Burrito $3. Restaurant salmon $19, Home Salmon  $5. If we start looking at sides, drinks and other factors the numbers will sway the home cooked side even further. Eating out will cost you 2 to 3 times what you would pay for the same meal at home if you are eating at lower cost restaurants. If you aim higher it can be an order of magnitude increased cost eating out. Some people have tried to use the time and convenience argument for eating out. “But it saves me time”. Really? I can put together a meal in 5 minutes at home if I need to. 20-30 minutes for a well prepared meal. Eating out at a full service restaurant is an hour time commitment minimum. Getting there, being seated, ordering, service, paying and getting back. Now, if I pick grass fed beef, free range chicken and so forth at home my cost does go up, but even with the best and most expensive ingredients I can find I will still spend far less at home than at a restaurant.

Now, it is fine to eat out periodically. To hang out with friends and family and share a meal (though doing that at home tends to build community better as well) is a great thing to do. But, if you eat out as a matter of course you are doing yourself a great disservice. Try to take control of your food. The heath benefits far outweigh the perceived benefits of eating out.

Please Consider How Your Actions May Appear

Saturday, December 17th, 2011
Not The Attire To Just Wander Around In

Not The Attire To Just Wander Around In

We are the first to tell you not to worry about how you may appear, but there is a line that steps from not worrying about pride, into being so clueless about appearances that you can cause significant trouble for others.

Here’s a story of a CrossFit workout gone wrong…

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/san-francisco-bay-guardian/masked-man-explains-attire-caused-san-jose-bomb-165215826.html?bouchon=807,ca

So, while we don’t mind causing a ruckus from time to time, lets make sure that any of our actions do not cause our public service personnel to have to waste a lot of time and effort.