Thursday, September 30, 2010

Adventures in Weights!

So I've had a bit of a revelation this week. I suppose it's a completely obvious one, but I'm kind of hard-headed sometimes so I guess it took me a while. At CrossFit Katy, the way we structure our WOD's is fairly consistent. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays we do a lift or work on a skill and then afterwards we do a MetCon that usually incorporates that skill or lift. I happen to LOVE M, W, F workouts. I am a strong chick and when we do strength workouts, I tend to finish at the top of the Whiteboard for the day....and hey, it makes me feel good, I like winning. BUT I have come to realize that I no longer fear my strength days. I go into the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday looking forward to crushing a WOD and walking away feeling good......and that, my friends, is a problem. Now, I know my biggest weaknesses lie in the body-weight movements and the cardio-focused MetCons and, yes, I still need to put extra effort and time into those, but I have been neglecting my strength. Actually, I have been taking my strength for granted and that is no way to set PR's. Well, this past Wednesday the CrossFit Katy WOD looked like this:
Overhead Squats
Now Overhead Squats are probably one of my weakest lifts, but I am still probably stronger than the average CrossFit girl. My sets looked like this....95lbs, 115lb, 135(F).....I failed at 135 which means I didn't get a single lift. I would have gone back down to 125lbs but class time was running short.
The Conditioning portion of the workout looked like this:
5 Rounds
5 Overhead Squats
10 Push Ups
20 Double Unders
The prescribed weight for girls was 65lbs and for guys it was 95lbs. I looked at the weight and though in my head "Sweet! It's only 65...I'm going to crush this one even though my push ups are not my strongest skill!" But then I got to thinking...what good is it doing me coming into the gym 3 days a week and blowing through these WODS? I'm not getting any stronger. Sure I may be getting faster, but think how much faster I would be if I was throwing around heavier weight.....(Ok I told you it was an obvious revelation so stop laughing!) I guess I just got caught up in the desire to "Win" at the stuff that I'm already good at instead of trying to get better. So that day, I bumped up my weight to the Men's RX weight of 95lbs. I finished in 8:32 which wasn't the fastest time in the gym...but I'm ok with that. There was a moment in the middle of round 4 where I was staring at the bar and thinking...."Holy crap, I really don't want to pick that thing up!" I had forgotten what that feeling was like and that's the way it's supposed to be! So here's to getting stronger, faster, better! I see big things in the future! :-)

Sunday, September 26, 2010


So lately I've been thinking a lot about sleep...or the lack-thereof! According to the National Sleep Foundation, there is no "magic number" when it comes to sleep. In a national survey of over 1 million adults that was conducted by the American Cancer Society, people that slept an average of 7 hours a night had less morbidity and mortality than people that got less.....and more! The consensus right now seems to be that sleep is highly individual.....great, that really helps me a lot! So how am I supposed to figure out how much sleep I need? Looks like this is going to be another great experiment of one!
As you know, the CrossFit Katy Train Right, Eat Right, Live Right Challenge is going to be starting on October 2nd and one of my goals as far as this challenge is concerned, is going to be to try and get enough sleep. I guess what set this whole line of thinking off was two, I got hold of a copy of Robb Wolf's The Paleo Solution and to quote Robb...."If you do not sleep you will: 1) Completely cock-block your fat loss. 2) Get fat, sick and diabetic. 3) Get old and wrinkled before your time." I don't know about you but I don't want to "completely cock-block my fat loss!!" The other thing is that I am on my final semester of nursing school and have been given the lucky assignment of working the night shift at Woman's Hospital. Now I actually happen to like the night shift for a few reasons....mostly having to do with more time to learn/practice without the hassle of a million impatient docs and residents trying to finish their day as quickly as possible. The night shift is a great time to learn, but it presents a unique challenge as far as getting the right amount of sleep is concerned. To combat this problem, I have tried to darken my room (but I think I will be investing in some good black-out curtains soon) and I am going to try and get as much sleep as possible during the day before and after my shift. Hopefully this strategy along with keeping my diet dialed in tight and getting my CrossFit on 4-5 days a week will help me get leaner, stronger, and faster! But there's only one way to find out........guess that means we'll talk later!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nutrition Follow-Up

Well, It's only been a week but I am officially a convert when it comes to post-workout nutrition. Last week I was able to workout 4 days in a row and work on skill work/lifting on my 5th and 6th days. I know that an ideal CrossFit workout schedule is a 3 on 1 off schedule but I couldn't help getting in those extra days because I was just feeling great. So far, I have been using one scoop of Isopure Zero Carb Protein powder mixed with water after any kind of heavy/short workout or after a lifting skill set. On the longer Met-Con days, I have been using one scoop of Isopure Zero Carb protein powder with coconut water for the electrolytes. On Saturday (my 6th day) I did two hours of snatch practice and did not take anything afterwards and I was feeling it later that night and into Sunday. Now, I'm not 100% sure if the reason I was so sore was because I didn't do any kind of post-workout nutrition or if it was just because I am changing up my snatch technique and the new moves pointed out all my weaknesses, but regardless, that was the only time I felt extremely sore this whole week so I will continue with my post-workout protein shakes for now.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


In a few weeks, we will be starting the CrossFit Katy Train Right, Eat Right, Live Right Challenge. I will be posting my before pics on the blog and my after pics. Now I've been following a fairly strict Paleo diet for over a year now. That's not to say I've been perfect. I've fallen off the band-wagon completely at times and I've also tightened it up completely (i.e. the Whole 30). I believe I've found a pretty good balance, but I'm looking to take it to the next level during these next two months. I don't plan on going back on the Whole 30 because as much as I believe it has some major health benefits, I don't think there's anything wrong with animal fats like butter and ghee and I do enjoy eating out which is almost impossible to do on the Whole 30.....not impossible but very nearly. I am not at my ideal level of leanness and I honestly don't know if it's possible for me to achieve that without going super strict on my portions....something I haven't quite decided I want to do yet. But I am going to experiment and here's a few things that I'm tossing around in my head...

Post Workout Nutrition:
I have never done any particular post-workout nutrition. I usually work out at 5:30AM and get to eat breakfast at either 7:00AM or 8:30AM depending on if I'm teaching bootcamp or not that morning. Now most people who are fans of post-workout nutrition would say that that is too much time between finishing a workout and eating. They describe the "window of opportunity" as far as rebuilding muscle and glycogen stores to be about 15-30 minutes post-workout. So I've decided that I'm going to start trying this post-workout nutrition idea. Dallas and Melissa from the Whole 30 say some of the best post-workout nutrition is egg whites and fruit but I'm not sure that I am going to want to try and shove food down my mouth post-WOD so I believe I'm going to be diving into the world of protein powder. Right now I will be using IsoPure Zero Carb protein powder (one scoop) mixed with either water (on a heavy lifting/short day) or coconut water (on a longer/lighter metcon day). The coconut water has some natural sugars (13 grams) and tons of potassium and electrolytes to replenish after a long sweat session. I am also tossing around the idea of buying the Progenix Recovery. I used it at Sectionals and found my recovery to be pretty incredible, I was not very sore (even after those awful handstand push up attempts) and I felt pretty ready to go for every workout. The product is very expensive though so we'll see how that goes.

Portion Control:
I am not a very big fan of the zone. I think it's tedious and difficult to stick to strictly. I also believe that, though many CrossFitters claim to be zoning...they really aren't. They are using the Zone as a backbone, but tweaking it so much that I don't know if you can even call it the Zone anymore. There is a lot of merit though in using the zone to help you figure out portion sizes as far as protein is concerned (and carbs to some extent). I believe one of my biggest issues with getting to that point of leanness that I want is that my protein portions are just too big. So my idea for the challenge is to figure out my RX'd block number for proteins and try to stick with it....that way I won't find myself plowing through a 12 oz. steak when all I really need is 5 oz. If you're eating green veggies, the Zone allows you to pretty much fill up on those until you can't fit anymore in your mouth so I don't think I will be paying much attention to my carb blocks...but if things don't change, I may have a look at them too.

I have been very bad lately about taking my fish oil so that is definitely going to change! I am going to try and get at least 4 grams of fish oil daily. That seems to be the magic number as far as heart health is concerned according to some recently published studies. I may be adjusting that higher depending on how I feel. I am also going to be using CoQ10, Vitamin D, and Glutamine.

I'd be very open to any other suggestions and I'll let everybody know how it goes! Before pics coming in a few weeks!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things....

So the other day I realized that I have a problem...yes I, Leah Goldstein, am a Lululemon Addict! :-) For anybody that doesn't know, Lululemon is a fabulous store with a funny name. The company originated in Canada and produces high quality running/yoga/workout gear that also looks amazing. If you haven't seen your butt in a pair of Lulu Run:Speed Shorts or Groove Pants....well let's just say you're missing out! I fell in love with their products about 5 years ago when I was living in San Antonio and I still have my very first purchase, my Lulu Groove Pants, and they still fit as fabulously as they did the very first day that I bought them. I don't know how many people can say they have five year old workout pants that still have as much elasticity and look as good as the day they bought them, but my Lulu's do! The thing that's so great about this company though lies not solely in their fabulous products. Lululemon aims to be an ambassador of fitness and healthy living to every community in which one of their stores resides. They host free workouts every Sunday from CrossFit to Yoga to name it, they support it. They are always present at the various runs and races around town whether it's handing out drinks to thirsty runners or cheering people on with homemade signs, the Lemons are always out in force. I am particularly in love with my local Lululemon store in Highland Village, Houston TX. I cannot begin to thank them for the amount of support that the Lemons have shown to me and the entire CrossFit community. We had Lemons at our grand opening of CrossFit Katy, we had Lemon volunteers to help us out with our very first CrossFit Competition hosted at CrossFit Katy (and yes they came with homemade signs to cheer everyone on) and we regularly have a few brave Lemons come all the way out to CrossFit Katy to sweat it out in one of our killer WOD's. It's this kind of community support and commitment to fitness that will always keep me coming back to my Lululemon Athletica.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Hello Fall!

Well for me, summer is officially over. I finished it off right with a 5 day cruise with Neal to Mexico. We did a lot of nothing which is just what I had in mind for this vacation. No alarm clocks, no itinerary, just lots of sun and magazine reading :-)

Now that September has rolled around, I am starting my 4th and final semester at UT Nursing School! It's about time....I've been in school since I was 2 1/2 (thanks mom) and now I will finally have a degree (that I can use) and (fingers crossed) a job that I will love. Of course there's no better job than training at CrossFit Katy and my bootcamps and hopefully that will be my only job someday, but until then at least I can do something else that's almost as fun and exciting.
September also brings with it the start of the new 2011 CrossFit Games season for me! As I said before, I took the summer off to relax, focus on school and work on my mental game and now it's time to get back to it. For the next few months, I will be posting some of the things that I'm doing as far as my training goes whether that be nutrition, metcons, skill work, etc. So far, it has been a great first week. I got in 4 good WOD's at CrossFit Katy and am getting back into the routine. The thing I am probably the most excited about with regards to my training is Kelly Starrett's new Mobility WOD blog.
My mobility (or complete lack thereof) is one of the things that is really hindering me as an athlete, especially with regards to overhead movements. Without good shoulder mobility, I will never be able to reach my potential in the overhead squat, snatch, push press, push jerk....the list goes on and on. What I am loving about the Mobility WOD blog is that it makes the task not so daunting. I mean, I could easily become overwhelmed with the list of things I need to fix mobility-wise....tight shoulder capsules, tight hip flexors which cause increased pressure on my lower back, poor wrist mobility which hinders my handstands....let's just say my mobility is %&# and the thought of fixing it all makes me want to just throw my hands up and quit. But the Mobility WOD blog focuses on one mobilization a day, 4-10 minutes a day. It breaks the task down into small, do-able stretches and mobilizations and eventually I really think it will make a huge difference for me.
This fall is shaping up to be a great lead-in to the 2011 Games Season. So far I'm signed up for the Team Competition at the Oktoberfest Obliteration at CrossFit Champions, the Standard Women's Individual Competition at the CrossFit Beaumont Showdown, and am looking forward to the All-Cities Open in Dallas come December. I know there's going to be some great competitors at all of these events so right now I'm just focusing on dialing in my diet and rocking it out at CrossFit Katy to prepare for all the mayhem!