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Lemon Honey Rosemary Chicken

May 8th, 2015 by Dana
img_3369-610x300Ingredients
  • 2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4-5 rosemary sprigs
  • spinach, to garnish
  • chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle salt on top of all chicken thighs. Arrange chicken thighs in an 8×8 baking sheet.
  3. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, honey, mustard, pepper and red pepper flakes. Pour mixture on top of chicken, pressing the chicken down into the mixture to cover as much as possible.
  4. Press rosemary sprigs in the dish throughout.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until no pink remains in chicken.
  6. Eat with some spinach or arugula. Garnish with fresh parsley

The Mental Side of Athletics Injuries

May 5th, 2015 by Dana

1010234_673068209386082_549566797_nThe mental challenges you endure after an injury can often be more frustrating than the physical pain. Recently, I wrote a post challenging our community to avoid injuries. Injuries can still happen, however, so this post focuses on the mental challenges of having them and the process of channeling their effects productively.

You’re injured. Even with the best training, strategies, and perfect form, it happens. You can’t change it; you can only move forward. But how?

For me personally, moving forward begins with patience, determination, and valuing what I have. Focus on what you CAN do, not on what you can’t. Injuries can feel like nightmares, because most are not easy to cope with. They can be constant reminders of our new weaknesses, naturally leading to feelings of anger and frustration. However, once you refocus and take control of your overall outlook, you will already have taken a huge step in making the most of your recovery.

Have patience with your body, but also have patience with your mind. It’s okay to feel sad. Allow yourself to mourn and feel whatever loss you are experiencing. While feeling is an important part of the healing process, it’s also important to stay as positive as possible. Be patient with the process while maintaining your determination to become better and stronger. Use this opportunity to rebuild the foundation of your body and strength, and come back even better than before!

I strongly believe your mental attitude is everything when dealing with an injury. When positive, your attitude can speed up the healing process and lessen your emotional pain. I also firmly believe that negativity will slow down the rehabilitation process, making you miserable. (I don’t have any scientific research to quote here, just my own experience.) As a lifelong athlete with more than my share of sports injuries, believe me when I say that it’s all up to you. Negativity about your situation will only bring you down and possibly worsen your symptoms, while patience and determination will reward you every single time.

Practice your skills and/or routines mentally. On a daily basis (only 5 to 10 minutes at a time), use mental rehearsal to see, hear, and feel yourself performing in your sport, executing each movement flawlessly with perfect timing. Regular mental rehearsal of your skills will keep your neuromuscular connections activated, ensuring a quicker and easier transition back into your sport when you are able to actually begin physical practice again.

Similarly, try daily to spend 5 to 10 minutes imagining your body beginning and continuing to heal. “See” in your mind’s eye a healthy supply of red blood cells surrounding the injured area and facilitating the mending process. Again, I can’t scientifically prove that this will speed up your healing. I can promise, however, that you’ll feel less helpless, more in control, and much more positive. These attitude changes in themselves will speed up your recovery.

Lastly, please be conscientious about your physical therapy and follow your doctor’s advice closely. Your physical therapy will actually work in conjunction with your mental recovery. Remember that healing is a process, so don’t cut corners, looking for the quickest exit. Work just as hard during your rehabilitation as you do in your training. You’re still an athlete.

And don’t forget to talk to us, your coaches and your community. We are here to help.

New Classes, WOD Recovery Book, and a Final WOD Send Off for Ian

April 30th, 2015 by Dana

Hi Athletes,

We have some big changes in May!  Our new 9 and 10 am classes start this Sunday.  Please note that this also means we will no longer have the 3:30 and 4:30 class.  May also brings a new Tuesday morning 5:15 class with Coach Ron. Your feedback is important to us so please, e-mail me with any comments, I love to hear it all.

As many of you know, we have been finishing each class with WOD Recovery Yoga programmed by our resident yogi, Stephanie Ring. The yoga programming is designed around each workout to optimize recovery, maintain and increase mobility and prevent injuries. Up until now, the only way to use this yoga programming was at the end of class. Available now to purchase and download is the WOD Recovery Yoga eBook for Functional Fitness Athletes. This eBook contains 70 yoga postures, from child’s pose to savasana, sequences for the top 20 CrossFit movements and lists of poses by muscle group to help you target the areas you need most. This is a great resource if you need an active recovery day with lots of mobility work, or you can’t make it into the gym but need to stretch.

Click http://www.endureyoga.com/shop/a-functional-fitness-athletes-guide/ for more details about the eBook. Type in this discount code CFMarin2015 to receive $10. off the $24.99 price.

Join us this Saturday at 9 am for a final WOD send off for Ian N.  Ian is a long time member of CrossFit Marin, and due to his move, he will be training elsewhere.  But we can’t let him go without a proper send off!  Good luck Ian!

A huge congratulations to our Master’s qualifiers that competed this past weekend. These athletes placed in the top 200 in the WORLD in their age groups and continued an amazing showing this weekend.  Martin, Mark, Rich and Michael are the perfect examples or athleticism, hard work and dedication. Congratulations on your finishes, and watch the blog for the final recap!

I’m continually humbled and inspired by our strong community which wouldn’t be what it is without every one of you.  Thank you all for being a part of it, and let me know if you need anything!

Dana

The Best Homemade Ranch Dressing Ever, and it’s Paleo!

April 27th, 2015 by Dana
paleoranchdressingIngredients
  1. 1/2 cup Paleo mayo (see below)
  2. 1/2 cup coconut milk
  3. 1/2 tsp onion powder
  4. 1 tsp garlic powder
  5. 1 tsp dill
  6. Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Whisk all ingredients together to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Mayo recipe
  1. 1 egg, room temperature
  2. 2 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  5. 1 cup light olive oil*
  6. In a tall glass (if using an immersion blender) or a blender, place the egg and lemon juice. Let come to room temperature, about one hour. Add the salt and mustard. Blend ingredients. While blending, very slowly pour in the olive oil. Blend until it reaches desired consistency. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  7. *It’s important to use a light olive oil, not full flavor, for mayonnaise. You could also use almond or walnut oil instead.

Good luck this weekend to our Masters

April 24th, 2015 by Dana

e4-handstand_riser_bottomThe second stage of The CrossFit open has begun w/ The Masters qualifier. The Masters Qualifier asks the top competitors in each age division to complete four events in just four days. The workouts were announced yesterday and scores are due no latter than Monday at 5 PM.  The WOD can be fully read here: http://games.crossfit.com/workouts/masters-qualifier/2015

At CrossFit Marin, our 4 masters athletes got to work right away and  took on the 1RM snatch and all 4 hit their PR’s!  Thank you to our athletes that have offered to be guniea pigs and tested these workouts to help their fellow athletes.
It’s going to be an exciting few days watching our athletes get after it!
Good luck Masters.

“So what exactly is Tabata and why is it called that?

April 21st, 2015 by Dana

Well, the story starts with the Japanese Olympic Speed Skating Team. In 1996 team trainer and scientist Izumi Tabata conducted a study analyzing the effectiveness of a specific High Intensity Training program that the head coach had developed specifically for his athletes. The team was divided into different groups. The first group trained on ergonomic cycles at moderate intensity for one hour, five days per week, for a total of six weeks. The second group completed four-minute, high-intensity workouts on ergonomic cycles four days per week for a total of six weeks. The program that group two followed is what has come to be known as Tabata training:

Eight rounds

One round: 20 seconds of ‘all-out’ work, followed by 10 seconds of rest

Tabata describes the desired intensity of work at around 170% of an athlete’s VO2 max—their maximum rate of oxygen consumption. At the conclusion of the six weeks of training, Tabata found that group two had experienced a 28% increase in their anaerobic capacity, as well as a 14% increase in their VO2 max. When summarizing the effect of the study and the HIIT program, Tabata writes that

“moderate-intensity aerobic training that improves the maximal aerobic power does not change anaerobic capacity and that adequate high-intensity intermittent training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly, probably through imposing intensive stimuli on both systems”.

This was a significant finding, as most authorities had regarded the two pathways—and training for them—as compartmentalized. Aerobic training was largely long slow distance (LSD) work, and anaerobic training was typically regarded as some hard-to-measure dark component left to the explosion sports.

Dr. Tabata examined several different protocols but settled on eight sets of twenty-second work intervals alternating with ten-second rest intervals as the most effective interval times for improving VO2 max. In the original study the intervals were performed at a quantifiable 170 percent of VO2 max. (Just think max effort.) In the field, where measurements are more subjective, the effort should be such that on the eighth set the trainee is nearing exhaustion. In the original study, the test subjects doing 4-minute “Tabata” intervals saw greater VO2 max improvement than the control group that did 60-minute sessions of moderate-intensity exercise.

Dr. Tabata’s research tested subjects on stationary bikes, but in the CrossFit world his protocol is applied to all variety of functional movements. The Tabata protocol is applied to exercises including squats, pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, rowing, and, in my practice, dumbbell moves. We generally score Tabata intervals based on the lowest number of reps completed in any one of the eight twenty -second work intervals.

Benefits

Tabata training increases the metabolism and heart rate immediately, the ability to produce work will lower as you go through the sessions.  The body will burn fat for up to 24 hours, because the metabolism will stay at the high levels after the workout.  Tabata training will increase cardiovascular fitness as well as core and strength gains depending on the workout.  It is a fast paced exercise routine that is very time efficient, all you need is 4 minutes.

Also, these high-intensity efforts produce this dramatic aerobic benefit without the muscle wasting brought about by endurance training.

Risks

  • The Tabata routine is not for beginners, it is easy for the intensity to become overwhelming for beginners.
  • There is a greater risk of injuries since it is high impact exercise.
  • Muscles fatigue quickly, that could lead to mental fatigue and depleted motivation.

Typical Tabata workouts (try a new one):

  • Push up (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Body Weight Squats (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Medicine Ball throw downs (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Jumping rope (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Mountain Climbers (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Sit ups (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Sprints (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Stairs (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Bench press (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)
  • Calf raisers (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes)

Masters Qualifier & New Classes in May

April 18th, 2015 by Dana

the-cave-logo-crossfit-onlyCongratulations to our Masters qualifiers: Mark A, Martin H., Rich L., and Michael S. These talented athletes finished in the top 200 in the world in their divisions and now advance to the four-day online Masters Qualifier beginning on Thursday, April 23 at 5 p.m. Once the workouts are released, the athletes will have until 5 p.m. PT on Monday, April 27, to complete all the workouts and submit their scores. The top 20 athletes in each age division at the end of the Qualifier will advance to the CrossFit Games. Our Masters athletes, examples of hard work and dedication, are inspiring to watch. Congratulations!

New Classes in May

One of the extraordinary things about CrossFit Marin is that your staff listens closely to the community, weighing your suggestions and criticisms. You all spoke loud and clear on this one! Starting May 1, Sunday afternoon CrossFit classes are moving to Sunday morning at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Come on in, train, and get an early start to your day.

As an intern, Ron worked hard, listening and learning, ultimately earning his own CrossFit classes! He’s coaching the new 5:15 a.m. class on Tuesday, as well as the existing classes at 6:15 a.m. and 7:15 a.m., along with Thursday’s 5:15 a.m.and 6:15 a.m. classes. Ron’s patient yet encouraging style makes him the perfect addition to our coaching staff.

Sadly, we must bid farewell to a longtime CrossFitter who has been a wonderful member of our Cave community. Ian Nickels is moving and will no longer be training at The Cave. But we can’t just let him go without a final workout! Join us the morning of Saturday, May 2, as we’ll have a farewell WOD for Ian. Bo is planning some special programming just for the day.

Keep up the fantastic work everyone. As athletes, you continue to inspire each other, your coaches, and your community every day.

Questions and/or comments? I’d love to hear them.

Thanks!

Dana

Almond Grape Smoothie

April 16th, 2015 by Dana

grape-smoothieMy boys love this smoothie! I started making it w/ Vanilla Almond Milk but quickly switched to unsweetened and they still loved it!
Ingredients
2 cups Spinach
2 cups Almond milk (unsweetened)
2 cups Red grapes (seedless)
2 Bananas
1/3 cup Almond butter (or other nut butter)
Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.

How do I get a copy of the WOD Recovery Yoga eBook? Here’s how.

April 15th, 2015 by Stephanie
wod-recovery-yoga-cover-75x925-version-7Hi Athletes,
As many of you know, we have been finishing each class with WOD Recovery Yoga programmed by our resident yogi, Stephanie Ring. The yoga programming is designed around each workout to optimize recovery, maintain and increase mobility and prevent injuries. Up until now, the only way to use this yoga programming was at the end of class. Available now to purchase and download is the WOD Recovery Yoga eBook for Functional Fitness Athletes. This eBook contains 70 yoga postures, from child’s pose to savasana, sequences for the top 20 CrossFit movements and lists of poses by muscle group to help you target the areas you need most. This is a great resource if you need an active recovery day with lots of mobility work or can’t make it into the gym but need to stretch.
Click on the link below for more details about the eBook.
Discount Code: CFMarin2015 for $10 off the $24.99 price

The Open is Over! Now what?

April 13th, 2015 by Dana

2015_openFirst of all, I would like to commend all the CrossFit Marin athletes who challenged themselves by competing in the 2015 CrossFit Open!  What a great celebration of CrossFit.  The pressure  forced us to hone our skills, believe in our abilities, and overcome many obstacles.  It was inspiring to watch our CrossFit community and its camaraderie be in full force over the past 5 weeks!   That’s right — 5 weeks. You made it and we celebrated. You spent 5 weeks pushing yourself as hard as possible and we celebrated your commitment and tenacity!

But, now what? What are we going to do for the next year?

Simple — Constantly Varied Functional Movements Performed at High Intensity. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

1. Keep working those weaknesses. CrossFit’s speciality is in not specializing. As athletes, we aim to improve in everything, not just the parts we enjoy. Getting better at everything leads to a more well-rounded person and athlete.

2. Keep inspiring. For everyone that hit their first reps of a movement, hit PRs or even tried to finish all the workouts, RX or not, you are an inspiration. You never know who is watching. From a coach’s point of view, it is inspiring to watch students make progress.

3. Keep being consistent.  One of the keys to getting better is just showing up and being consistent in working out. If you put in the work the results will take care of themselves.

4. Keep having fun. We all knew we were not going to win the CF Games. So, why did we compete? For one, it was fun to have everyone come together and push each other to get the best scores possible. I had fun watching and judging. I hope you did too.

5. Keep competing. Find a local competition, pick a division and go for it!  Whether RX, scaled, team, beginner — it doesn’t matter what division as long as you are out there pushing yourself and of course, having fun. Here’s a good link to see upcoming competitions. https://www.wodrocket.com/index.php/competitions/find-events?option=com_ohanah&view=events&Itemid=118&ohanah_category_id=2&textToSearch=&Submit=Search&limit=10&limitstart=0

6. Keep progressing. Don’t think the only time to get a muscle up is in the Open. We haveprogressions from beginner to expert on all sorts of movements.  So, in your spare time before or after a WOD, grab a coach to help you reach a milestone!