Wednesday – Crossfit Games 2017 Winners

Fraser Repeats, Toomey Victorious

Mat Fraser joins the ranks of repeat CrossFit Games winners as he amassed a greater lead than anyone ever has for a second consecutive year. Among the women, two-time second-place finisher Tia-Clair Toomey survived five lead changes to finally become champion.

MEN

As the final day of competition began, Fraser started with a 176-point lead over second place. By the time the men stepped onto the competition floor for Fibonacci Final, he had 210 points on two-time Games competitor Brent Fikowski. Fraser ended his fourth Games with four event wins: Triple G Chipper, Muscle-Up Clean Ladder, Heavy 17.5 and 2223 Intervals.

Fraser finished 216 points ahead of Fikowski. Last year, Fraser ended 197 points ahead of Ben Smith, 2015’s Fittest Man on Earth.

Brent Fikowski, Mat Fraser and Ricky Garard

While it was no surprise who would win among the men, second and third places were up for grabs with a couple of Leaderboard changes over the course of four days.

Fikowski, who finished fourth in his rookie year, said he was satisfied with his second-place finish in his second year.

“After last year, I was completely overwhelmed. I had finally qualified and I maximized the experience,” he said, still breathing quickly from Fibonacci Final. “This year, I’m very calm and just satisfied.”

He described the four days of competition as “a lot of fun.”

“All year I prepared for this and it felt like I was very calm and in control of my performance all weekend,” Fikowski said. “I was able to enjoy it and stay very relaxed.”

He added: “It’s pretty wild that it all came together.”

WOMEN

Toomey, meanwhile, started the day with a 14-point lead over Kara Webb that grew to 38 points after the Madison Triplet Sunday morning.

Although Sam Briggs and Kristin Holte secured first and second place, respectively, early during the event, Toomey continued to close the gap on the leaders, gaining ground on the hay bale clean burpees until she eventually took hold of the third spot and finished in third overall.

Kara Webb, Tia-Clair Toomey and Annie Thorisdottir

But Toomey’s lead shrunk after 2223 Intervals.

With a time of 10:58, Webb finished fourth overall in the event, while Toomey recorded a 14th-place finish with a time of 11:38. That reduced Toomey’s lead to 6 points.

By the time the two women got to the final event—with a time cap of 6 minutes—it came down to the double kettlebell overhead lunge. As Toomey took her final lunge, she couldn’t keep the kettlebells overhead; the judge asked her to take a few steps back and repeat the lunge. In the meantime, Webb caught up. The two women appeared to step onto the podium at nearly the same time. Toomey lost by nearly two-tenths of a second.

In the end, Toomey was the overall victor by 2 points.

After experiencing deep self-doubt in 2016, she said she was confident she would end atop the podium this year. The experience of the past two years helped, she added.

“To be honest, you have to think about everyone who’s there to support you (and) remember all the work you put in,” she said.

Toomey continued: “(I feel) great, on top of the world.”

TEAM

In an upset among the teams, Wasatch CrossFit dethroned CrossFit Mayhem, a team led by former four-time Games champion Rich Froning.

Wasatch and Mayhem were in first and second, respectively, nearly all four days.

During the second-to-last event of the day—Burpee Litter—members of both teams were neck and neck as they hurdled rows of 50-inch hay bales, jumping and rolling over with near-reckless abandon. In the end, Froning’s foot crossed the finish line first, giving Mayhem the event win. An announcer called it a “hair-raising finish.”

In the final event, Worm Complex, Mayhem finished ahead of Wasatch again.

But it wasn’t enough.

Wasatch had started the day with a 60-point lead.

The key to the team’s win was its unity, said team captain Adrian Conway

“We really had more of a like mind than any other team I’ve been on before.”

CrossFit Mayhem, Wasatch Brutes and CrossFit Fort Vancouver

Conway was also a member of Hack’s Pack Ute, the only team to win consecutive Affiliate Cups in 2012 and 2013. Had Mayhem won, it would have made Games’ history with three consecutive Affiliate Cup wins.

“We couldn’t let them do that,” Conway said, winking.

He added that Wasatch’s motivation to compete was “never about Mayhem,” though.

If anything, it was an ode, Conway said.

Mayhem, he said, “set the standard.”

“We all had the expectation of going in and trying to win.”

Even if that meant failing and being embarrassed for vocalizing the desire, Conway said.

As far as next year, the team’s does not plan on returning. At the moment.

Conway said he wants to dedicate more time to developing athletes and spending time with his newborn son.

But, he alluded, that plan might be amenable.

“I already got outside pressure (to come back),” he said with a coy smile. “So we’ll see.”

For complete results, visit the CrossFit Games Leaderboard.

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Tuesday – I don’t have TIME!

Just because you’re catching up on Netflix, The Bachelor, or Sports Center doesn’t mean you can’t do push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, planks, squats, etc. too. Clear up some space between the couch and the TV so you don’t miss anything while breaking a sweat. Need an extra nudge? Move your dumbbells, jump rope, and other fitness tools near the tube to give yourself visible reminders.

All of you at Factory Square Crossfit is the motivation I need to get my “I don’t have time” attitude out of my system!  What is your excuse?   Hit it head on and the moment you feel it, say it, think about it….get your butt to the gym! Or one of these alternatives;)

Dr. Meghan

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Wednesday – How To Watch The Crossfit Games

cfgames

The 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games will take place Aug. 3-6, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

This year, the CrossFit Games will be easier to watch than ever. New season-long partnerships with Facebook and CBS Sports will mean that fans worldwide can watch the entire competition online for free, with additional televised coverage before, during and after the event. Additionally, the CBS Television Network will air a one-hour live look into the competition on Aug. 5, and a highlight show on Aug. 19, both at 1 p.m. ET.

“The CrossFit Games has gained two powerful and enthusiastic partners in CBS and Facebook,” said Justin Bergh, General Manager of the Games. “Our community has the respect and support of the largest social-media network in the world and the most watched television network in the world. Both understood how important it is that we craft a unique coverage plan that meets the needs of our global community. This begins with the Games in Madison, but they are both committed to raising the bar for fans, athletes and affiliates year-round.”

Online

Once the Games begin, fans can tune in to watch the entirety of the individual, team, masters and teen competitions live on the CrossFit Games website and on Facebook. In addition, CBS Sports Digital will stream up to 40 hours of live event coverage of teams and individuals on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports app.

CrossFit will use Facebook update groups to let people know when events are live, so be sure to join and set your notifications so you don’t miss the best action. Known events and times will be scheduled in advance, and the Studio team will be breaking live announcements as they happen on site. For full schedule information, download the CrossFit Games app or visit Games.CrossFit.com.

Please note the Games will take place in Central Standard Time.

Also, remember to check YouTube.com for live coverage of the events.

Television

New for 2017: Televised coverage will be moving to CBS and CBS Sports Network. The move will mean an unprecedented amount of coverage before, during and after the Games.

Starting Thursday, July 20, CBS Sports Network will air four original preview shows highlighting CrossFit Games history, contenders and past champions in the lead-up to the Games:

“Road to the Fittest: The History” – July 20, 2017, 8 p.m. ET

“Road to the Fittest: Men’s Contenders” – July 20, 2017, 8:30 p.m. ET

“Road to the Fittest: Women’s Contenders” – July 27, 2017, 8 p.m. ET

“Road to the Fittest: The Champions” – July 27, 2017, 8:30 p.m. ET

Once the Games are underway, fans can catch two hours of competition coverage on CBS Sports Network at the end of each day, Aug. 3-6, starting at 10 p.m. ET. And don’t miss the live coverage on Saturday on CBS Television at 1 p.m. ET or digitally on CBS All Access.

The CrossFit Games stream is available for free on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App for mobile and connected TV devices (OTT). OTT devices with the CBS Sports App include Roku, Apple TV (3rd gen. and 4th gen.), Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One and Windows 10. No authentication or sign-in is required to view this stream on any device. CBS Sports Network is widely available through all major cable, satellite and telco distributors. For distributors with national channel lineups please find CBS Sports Network as follows: DirecTV – 221, Dish Network – 158, Verizon FiOS – 94, AT&T U-Verse – 643. For all other providers, use the CBSSN channel finder to find your channel or check your local listings. CBS Sports Network is also available with OTT providers Hulu and You Tube TV, with additional distributors launching soon!  CrossFit will also be added under “Watch” on the CBSSports.com homepage once coverage begins.

After the Games, fans can get a fresh retrospective on CBS Sports Network. Six episodes will recap key moments and also premier unseen content, including behind-the-scenes interviews, new event footage and analysis:

Oct. 16, 2017, 7 p.m. ET

Oct. 23, 2017, 7 p.m. ET

Oct. 30, 2017, 7 p.m. ET

Nov. 6, 2017, 7 p.m. ET

Nov. 13, 2017, 7 p.m. ET

Nov. 26, 2017, 8 p.m. ET

International deals for the coverage will be posted here soon. Click here for more information on the partnership with CBS.

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Wednesday – Better Finish In The Snatch

5 Ways to Get A Better Finish in the Snatch
Greg Everett

As all of you who’ve invested countless hours smashing your heads against the wall know, there are a number of tricky elements to the snatch. I want to focus on just one of them here—the finish.

The finish refers to the final portion of the upward extension, also referred to as the second pull or explosion. This needs to be a combination of explosiveness and degree of extension—that is, speed without complete extension, or complete extension without adequate speed, will limit the lift.

To a large degree, speed is something you either have or cry about not having—you can only improve it through training to a relatively small extent. Before you slowpokes get discouraged, remember that in weightlifting, like most sports, very small improvements can have very big effects.

But the finish of your snatch is the product of multiple facets that anyone can improve collectively. Following are five things to work on.

Hang & Block Snatches

Snatches from starting positions above the ground aid in improving the finish for very simple reasons: by reducing the time and distance you have to accelerate and elevate the bar, you’re going to improve rate of force development (how quickly your body can neurologically access/activate maximal motor units with maximal force), your aggression, and the movement (including timing) of your final extension.

The most common hang and block position is one that places the bar directly in front of or above the kneecaps. This is a good one, but of course we can select variations to achieve more specific ends. For example, if the main part of your problem is a lack of leg drive, performing your hang snatches from the power position will be effective. If your hip extension is poor, a hang position with the shoulders over the bar is more appropriate.

Hang snatches are better for lifters who have some trouble with the proper position and balance in the pull because the bar and body are connected as one unit from the start, giving the lifter the chance (i.e. forcing him/her) to establish the proper balance and position. Lifts from the blocks can more easily be performed from poor starting positions and with a lot of odd tricks in the start to circumvent various shortcomings.

Theoretically snatches from the blocks are better for rate of force development because they reduce pre-tension and/or the stretch-shortening reflex relative to the hang; however, if you’re performing a fancy dynamic start from the blocks, you’re circumventing this benefit to a large extent. If RFD is a big concern, perform your block snatches with a static start.

Pull + Snatch Complex

Many times a lifter is great at extending completely and forcefully when doing snatch pulls, but when snatching, completely changes the motion (to be clear, the motion of a pull and a snatch are not in fact identical—I’m referring to elements like leg drive and aggression). By performing a snatch pull (correctly) immediately before a snatch, you’re more likely to pull the snatch more similarly to the pull. As an added bonus, the pull tires you out a bit and forces you to be more aggressive and complete in the extension of the subsequent snatch.

Snatch Pulls

Regular old snatch pulls are a great exercise—they teach and train proper balance, position, timing and aggression in the pull, and it is much easier in a pull to extend completely than in a snatch. However, be careful of pulling too heavy—eventually you’ll exceed the threshold below which you can extend properly; beyond it, your extension will begin to be cut short, which means the lift, while still beneficial in many respects, is not helping you with the specific problem we’re addressing here. If you want to go as heavy as possible, consider doing snatch deadlifts instead of pulls (but do pulls at lighter weights too). To help ensure proper balance and a complete extension, try holding yourself up in the extended position for a 1-count.

Jumping

There are a million jumping exercises, and pretty much any of them will help with the explosiveness in the finish of the snatch. My go-to jumps are box jumps (less than max height, but with maximal effort and height in the jump), back squat jumps, and broad/long jumps.

Better Technique

I’ve argued plenty of times that the best way to increase the speed of your snatch and clean & jerk short of inventing a time machine and selecting parents with more suitable DNA is to improve your technical ability. The more proficient your lifts, the more you’re able to apply the physical traits you do possess—if you’re not particularly quick by nature, it’s even more important for you to maximize whatever speed you do have. Sort out your technique with a particular focus on timing of the initiation of the second pull (usually too early), position when initiating the second pull (usually too far back on heels and shoulders too far back), and proximity of the bar and body (as close as possible without touching until contact at the hips).

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Wednesday – Summer Heat

summer-heat

There are some people who would agree that there is nothing more satisfying than walking away from a hard workout like that in the summer heat. Sure you may look like you just ran through the rain and then rolled on the ground (just me?? Those who know me know I’m always filthy after every workout) but who cares. You are the walking mark of satisfaction and of a job well done. Doesn’t matter if you’re in those short shorts, feel like your shirt is choking you so it immediately comes off, or if you cover up so much to the point where you look like you’re about to run through the arctic – you are there and see immediate results of even the slightest effort put into whatever it is you have to do. Maybe I’m crazy but I enjoy that. . . .

It takes your body approximately two weeks to adjust to a climate change. Granted that we are well into summer now, here are some quick tips to help make it through the most brutal summer workouts . . .and man have they been brutal lately!

1. Drink Plenty of Water – There are so many important and essential functions of water for our bodies, one of which includes regulating body temperature. If you are not a water drinker, try to make sure you take in those few extra glasses a day to help keep cool. I promise your body will thank you for it.

2. Bring a Towel – Nothing is worse than mid workout and your eyes begin to burn from the sweat dripping straight down into your eyes. Don’t be afraid to rock out those head bands or even have a towel handy if you sweat like you are in the Sahara Desert.

3. Extra Clothing – Ever finish a workout and have to run to the store on your way home? What happens? You end up freezing your butt off in the store! It’s amazing what a difference something as simple as a dry shirt can do after a workout to have you feeling refreshed.

4. Know Your Limits – Number 1 priority is your health, that’s why you Crossfit in the first place. If for any reason you ever feel like the heat it too much and you need a water break, or need to put a cold towel on the back of your neck, then do it. The heat of summer can be oppressive sometimes and there’s no point in giving yourself heat exhaustion. Be smart and know your body’s limits in the heat.

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Wednesday – Arnold’s Rules of Success

By BoxLife Team

As everyday athletes looking to develop our fitness, we can appreciate those who have been successful in doing so at the highest levels. Before he was the Terminator and later the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a competitive bodybuilder winning the title of Mr. Olympia seven times. Born in Austria to humble beginnings, his path to international fame didn’t come without challenges. However, he overcame the odds and became a household name by sticking to his now-famous six rules of success. So, how can we apply those rules to our experience with CrossFit?

Rule 1: Trust Yourself
Your goals are unique to you. Your dreams and aspirations can’t be dictated by anyone else. Just because Joe CrossFit wants to compete in every competition imaginable doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for you to do the same. Similarly, others may share your goal of improving their nutrition, but their choices may not suit your tastes or lifestyle. Get to know yourself and know what it is you want out of your CrossFit experience, and don’t stop working on it until you’ve achieved it.

Rule 2: Break Some Rules
When it comes to breaking the rules in CrossFit, Games veteran Chris Spealler comes to mind. At 5’5” and 150lbs, Spealler qualified for seven CrossFit Games while making his mark in the sport against athletes bigger and stronger than him. Others known to break the rules in CrossFit are adaptive athletes and masters—those individuals who refuse to let the limitations of age or a disability stop them from training and competing as they see fit. You can also break the rules when it comes to your training methodology. There’s no golden map of success, and what works for one athlete may not work for you. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain and employ different exercises to help you achieve the results you want.

Rule 3: Don’t be afraid to fail
Some of the greatest success stories come from people who have failed again and again. What’s separated them from others is their refusal to quit in spite of these failures. Failure is also important when it comes to taking risks. Whether you’re learning a new skill or attempting a new PR—don’t be afraid to fail.

Rule 4: Ignore the naysayers
We all have people in our lives that simply don’t believe in our goals. These naysayers are typically people who condemn CrossFit (or don’t understand it in the first place), but sometimes they may be fellow athletes that doubt your abilities and conviction to your objectives. In either case, it doesn’t matter. You don’t need a naysayer’s approval. Feed off your passions in and outside the gym and let those passions lead you to success.

Rule 5: Work Like Hell
You’ve heard the saying before, ‘The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.’ If you want to get better in life and in CrossFit, you have to work like hell until you get there. If you’re not where you want to be, reassess your circumstances and keep working.

Rule 6: Give Something Back
CrossFit, at its heart, is about the affiliate community. We console each other when things don’t go well and we celebrate each other’s victories when they do. As much support as you receive, you should give back in kind. It can be as simple as welcoming a newcomer to your affiliate, running those 400m with the last athlete to finish, or helping a friend with their mechanics. Our coaches and communities help us and we should do what we can to give back in return.

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Tuesday – Herniated

  • Pain from a herniated disc is a complex personal experience. Physical and psychological factors are constantly changing and can contribute to a patient’s experience of pain. A herniated disc may not be painful at all times, or it may become even more painful because of psychological and other factors in the patient’s life. For example, many studies have established a correlation between back pain and depression.  The pain from a disc herniation also may become more severe when compounded with other physical problems in the spine, or situational factors (such as poor posture, sitting for a long period, etc).

 

Because of the complexities of understanding pain from a herniated disc, patients should not attempt to make their own diagnosis. An inaccurate self-diagnosis may lead to further damage to spinal structures or to more severe episodes of back pain or leg pain if the condition is left untreated or treated incorrectly. Working with a spine specialist helps ensure that the correct location of a herniated disc, extent of the problem and source of pain are identified early on.  

If any of you have any questions on what the neck or back problem might be or looking for suggestions or care feel free to call me!  Or ask me at CF!! 

 

Dr. Meghan

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Wednesday – Dan Dan Noodles

Anyone else finding themselves extra hungry from the workouts lately?? Maybe it’s the heavy lifting we’ve been doing or the longer WODs that crush us but the hunger that coincides with Crossfit can be fierce! Doesn’t matter if you’re paleo, count macros, or stuff your face with whatever because you’re on the see food diet . . . chances are you’ve experienced what it’s like to feel hangry. I know I can’t be the only one who’s part way done with one meal and already thinking about their next. What can I say . . . . I genuinely love food. Heck, I love food and cooking just about as much as I love lifting, thankfully the two marry together great!

For those of you not enjoying an amazing Box Bistro meal or who are looking for something different to make for dinner some nights, here’s my favorite recipe from the “Well Fed Weeknights” cookbook (I’m even making this tonight for dinner and I’m so excited lol . . . there will be no survivors). Yes it is Paleo. Yes it is easy to make. Yes you will have quite a few dishes BUT it’s an amazing dish that doesn’t take long to make.

Dan Dan Noodles from Well Fed Weeknights

wfweeknights_dandannoodles-w750

Dan Dan Noodles are one of the most popular street foods in Sichuan (a.k.a. Szechuan) province of southwestern China. The cuisine of the region is known for its bold flavors, with lots of garlic, chiles, and Sichuan pepper. The name “dan dan” refers to the pole that noodle vendors used to sell their wares. It was carried across their shoulders, a basket of noodles on one end and the spicy sauce on the other. Traditionally, the noodles swim in a face-tingling broth and are topped with minced pork and preserved vegetables. This fast, paleo version uses zucchini noodles for slurping, cornichons for an acidic tang, and a separate chili oil so you can customize the heat.

Total time: approx. 40 minutes

Ingredients: (Serves 2-4 people)

For the noodles:

  • 2 pounds zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For the chili oil:

  • ½ cup light-tasting olive or avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • ½-inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes

For the pork:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1½ pounds ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons tahini or almond butter (I prefer almond butter)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • pinch coconut sugar (optional – I omit)
  • ⅓ cup cornichons (optional – I also omit)

garnish: a handful cashews or sunflower seeds, 2–3 scallions

Directions:

Make the noodles. Julienne the zucchini with the spiralizer. Place the noodles in a colander and toss them with the salt until the strands are lightly coated. Set the colander in the sink to drain while you prep the other ingredients.

Make the chili oil. In a small saucepan, combine the oil, peppercorns, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes. Warm the oil over medium-low heat while you cook.

Cook the pork. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, 2 minutes. While the oil heats, peel and grate the ginger, mince the jalapeño, and peel and crush the garlic. Add the aromatics to the oil and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Crumble the pork into the pan, season with the salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until it’s browned, 7–10 minutes.

Make the sauce. While the pork cooks, place the tahini, sesame oil, Chinese five-spice, and black pepper in a small bowl and mix with a fork. Add the coconut aminos, vinegar, and sugar; stir until combined. Chop the cornichons and set them aside.

Put it together. Add the sauce to the meat in the skillet and stir to coat the meat. Add the cornichons to the skillet, toss to combine, and transfer the meat mixture to a large bowl. Reheat the skillet over medium-high heat. Rinse the zucchini noodles under running water, drain well, and squeeze them dry in a clean dish towel. Add the noodles to the heated pan and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes until hot. Return the meat to the pan and toss with two wooden spoons to combine; allow it to heat through. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cinnamon stick from the chili oil and discard it. Set the oil aside to cool. Chop the cashews and scallions.

To serve, divide the noodles among individual bowls and top with a drizzle of chili oil, then sprinkle with cashews and scallions.

Cookup Tips

Spiralize the zucchini, make the chili oil, and prep the sauce in advance; store everything in separate airtight containers in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, cook the pork and put it all together according to the directions.

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Tuesday – Principles

This is a guest post from Ed Tseng. In Forbes Magazine.

 

I have found that the principles for peak performance in sports are no different than the principles for peak performance in the business world. 

 

1. They get stuck in feelings—When people are in a slump, they tend to feel things such as: lack of confidence, discouragement, negativity, anger, stress, and being overwhelmed. But where do these feelings come from? 99 percent of the world believes that it comes from something outside of them, like their workload, the economy, rejection, a rude comment, the weather, etc. The truth is nothing outside of you can affect how you feel. If it could, then everyone would react the same way in the same situation and we know that doesn’t happen. Feelings can only come from one place—thought. And thought is generated from inside us. We feel our thinking, not our circumstances.

 

When people understand where those feelings are coming from (thought), they are back in control, instead of being a prisoner of their circumstances. We cannot control what thoughts come into our heads, but we can always choose which ones we give attention to and make grow, and which ones we ignore or dismiss, thereby keeping them powerless over us.

2. They think too much—A friend of mine plays for the New York Yankees and one season, he was in a major hitting slump. He tried to analyze and figure out what was wrong. He changed his grip, his stance, his stride…nothing was working. Finally, one day, he said to himself, “You know what? Screw it!” He stopped thinking about it. He stopped fighting through it, and he stopped trying to change his game. He “just” played. And he broke out of his slump.

When people try to implement a strategy to change technique, thinking, re-frame, or analyze, it won’t work, because that makes them think more. The goal is less thinking. The fastest way to break out of a slump is to do absolutely nothing to try to break out of a slump. The philosopher, Yogi Berra once said, “You can’t think and hit at the same time. A full mind is an empty bat.”

3. They dwell on past failures—Athletes often dwell on a shot they missed in the past. Salespeople often dwell when they don’t close a deal. When they stay focused on it, they feel it, and their performance goes down. What we think, we feel. That is why smart people sometimes do stupid things.  Oprah said, “Your focus is your future.” When you focus on the negative, it is impossible to get positive results. Living in the past is like driving while looking through the rear-view mirror.

4. They stress over winning—During a big game, athletes get anxious about winning and losing. So do people at work.  The peak performers make every job important, but no job SPECIAL. When working with businesses, my main goal is to get them to understand that it’s great to have the desire to do well, but it’s important to realize that if you don’t do well, your life will be just fine. Most people don’t know where their anxiety is coming from so they attribute it to something out in the world, but it’s always coming from inside us. Realizing this helps us perform with freedom, clarity, energy, and enjoyment. It is completely normal to have stressful thoughts about a situation, but accept them for what they are…just thoughts. When we stop stressing over stressful thoughts, they don’t seem to come around as often or stay as long.

5. They think negative thoughts are bad—Have you ever had a negative thought? We all have, even the most successful people in the world, but most feel this is bad. I used to look for positive thoughts and avoid negative thoughts, but now I see them as neutral. When people believe positive thoughts are better than negative thoughts, they will search for them when they are not present, and that takes them out of the present moment. Thoughts are like dreams—random and powerless, unless we believe them. If we do, we feel it, and our performance goes downhill. It doesn’t make sense to believe your thinking if you know it’s just an illusion that was made up. If you wrote a nasty letter to yourself, would you read it and get upset? Absolutely not. People say, “Don’t believe everything you hear.” I say, “Don’t believe everything you THINK.”

Ed Tseng is a peak performance consultant, best-selling author, keynote speaker and former USTA Pro of the Year. He works with elite athletes, business leaders, students, organizations, and individuals.

We all can relate sometimes! Get out of your head!

Dr. Meghan

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Wednesday – Drink More Water

By William Imbo

When astronomers look for life in our solar system and beyond, the unifying factor that generates the most interest and excitement is the potential presence of water. Where there is water, there might just be life. Every organism we know of needs water to survive, and scientists have said that there’s no better substance better at sustaining life. So, if you didn’t already know, water is incredibly important to prolonging your life—given that our bodies are composed of roughly 60% of the stuff. For this reason, water consumption—or lack thereof—can have a profound impact on your athletic performance.

Here are 5 reasons why drinking water is crucial to your health and your gains.

1. Improves recovery time
During exercise, the body’s electrolyte balance can begin to shift. Electrolytes are minerals that break into small, electrically-charged particles called ions when they dissolve in water. Found in blood and cells, electrolytes are essential to physical activity because they regulate bodily fluids. During exercise, the body’s electrolyte balance can begin to shift. As the body loses electrolytes through sweat, the imbalance can result in symptoms like muscle cramps, fatigue, nausea, and mental confusion. And if the electrolyte supply stays low, muscles may continue to feel weak during your next WOD. So if you want to make sure your body is at full fighting force the next day, grab the H20 post-workout. Add a pinch of salt for a boost in electrolytes.

2. Helps to avoid dehydration
The American Council on Exercise states, “For regular exercisers, maintaining a constant supply of water in the body is essential to performance.” In one hour of exercise, the body can lose more than a quart of water, depending on exercise intensity and air temperature. If the body doesn’t have enough water to cool itself through perspiration, it enters a state of dehydration. And this is not good. The list of ailments due to dehydration is extensive, and can severely impact an athlete during a WOD. They include heat stroke, muscle fatigue, lack of coordination, increased heart rate and headaches.

3. Important for healthy muscles and performance
I bet you didn’t know that water composes 75% of all muscle tissue and about 10% of fatty tissue. As legendary strength coach Charles Poliquin says, “Hydration is the greatest determinant of strength. A drop of 1.5% in water levels translates in a drop of 10% of your maximal strength. The leaner you are, the worse it is. Make sure you weigh the same or more at the end of your training session.” Drinking water helps to prevent the breakdown of muscle proteins and increases nutrients absorbed from food—both key factors in building strength and maintaining high energy levels during a WOD.

4. Helps your mental game
Sodium chloride and potassium are the two chemicals that are needed for nerves to send electrical signals to your brain. A lack of water leads to electrolyte imbalances. If you are sending signals to your brain at a reduced speed, this means you are thinking slower and your body is reacting slower to what is going on when you train. Aside from losing track of how many reps you’ve done, this could severely affect your game plan for the WOD, your pacing and you may begin to struggle with movements that require more focus on technique.

5. Reduces joint and muscle pain and helps to increase your flexibility
Cartilage in the joint is 65 – 80% water. In fact, water is present in tendons, ligaments, and muscles, and it plays an important role in cushioning and lubricating joints and tissues so that they remain elastic. Water helps you maintain an adequate blood volume so that nutrients can move through your blood and into your joints. A helpful analogy is to think of our joints as if they were sponges. Two dry sponges are going to move against one another very well, but two wet ones will glide easily. Water also allows waste products to move out of the joints. Combined, this helps to reduce the pain you may experience in your joints and muscles during and after a workout—not to mention helping increase your range of motion when you work on your mobility.

Drinking too much water isn’t good either
Hyponatremia is a rare condition that occurs when there is not enough sodium in the body and usually comes about when athletes (particularly endurance athletes) drink too much water. If your sodium levels in your body are too low, your cells begin to swell with water, expanding your brain tissue and putting pressure on the brain. On top of that, it may also cause your lungs to fill with fluid. Symptoms of hyponatremia can include headaches, vomiting, and swelling of the hands and feet.

Not sure how much water to drink? The American Council on Exercise advises:

  • Drink 17-20 ounces of water two to three hours before the start of exercise.
  • Drink 8 ounces of fluid 20 to 30 minutes prior to exercise or during warm-up.
  • Drink 7-10 ounces of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.
  • Drink an additional 8 ounces of fluid within 30 minutes after exercising.
  • Drink 16-24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise.

For everyday consumption, the Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.

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