Health Tips

Plank Holds-More Than Just a Six Pack

You hear us say it all the time, “Core tight!”

A strong tight core is a great way to prevent injury especially, in the low back. When our stomach is pulled in tight, our low back isn’t taking on the brunt of the load.

Okay, so what is a tight core?

Think about someone coming up to you and trying to hit you in the stomach. Feel how you pull your belly button in, ribs down and hips up a bit? That is a tight stomach. Now squeeze your butt. BOOM! Tight core.

Weight training, gymnastics training, and the other skills we do everyday in class will strengthen your core, but there is always room to improve that core strength. A plank hold is one of our favorite exercises to not only strengthen your abdominal muscles, but to strengthen them over time while under tension, just like during a CrossFit workout.

Getting into a Plank

  1. Start at the top of a push up position with your wrist, elbows, and shoulders all in line.
  2. Feet together, and you should be up on your toes.
  3. Now brace your core! Squeeze your tummy in and together, then squeeze your butt!

Plank There should be no dip in the hips, or big hump up top either.

 

Start with doing them in a Tabata (8 rounds, :20 hold, :10 rest) then move on to longer holds, or start trying to do them on the side to engage your oblique’s more. You are always welcome to do these before/after class starts, and they are great to incorporate into on the road workouts, as well!

Side Plank

 

A strong core=a strong back

Happy Training!

CrossFit SPT

10 Guidelines to Great Nutrition

1. Eat every 2-3 hours.
Are you doing this – no matter what? No, they don’t have to be huge meals, but you do need to eat 6-8 meals and snacks that conform to the other rules below.

2. Eat complete, lean protein each time you eat.
Are you eating something that was an animal or comes from an animal – every time you feed yourself? If not, make the change. Fish, bison, chicken, beef, etc. A high quality protein could be substituted 1 (2 max) times a day.
Note: If you’re a vegetarian, this rule still applies – you need complete protein and need to find non-animal sources.

3. Eat vegetables every time you eat.
That’s right, in addition to a complete, lean protein source, you need to eat some vegetables every time you eat (every 2-3 hours, right?). You can toss in a piece of fruit here and there as well. But don’t skip the veggies.

4. Eat starchy carbs post workout, and eat fruits and veggies whenever you want. Starchy carbs include things like simple sugars, rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, etc. Don’t be afraid of starchy carbs, but you’ll need to save them until after you’ve exercise because your body can best utilize them in the post workout setting. The most ideal carbs post workout are jasmine rice or potatoes – the better the quality, the better the result. For the rest of the day, eat your lean protein and a delicious selection of fruits and veggies.

5. Learn to love healthy fats.
There are 3 types of fat – saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Gone are the days of “fat makes you fat”! Eating all three kinds of fat in a healthy balance (about equal parts of each) can dramatically improve your health, and even help you lose fat.
Saturated fats-animal products and you can even toss in some butter or coconut oil for cooking
Monounsaturated fats-mixed nuts, olives, and olive oil
Polyunsaturated fats-flaxseed oil, fish oil, and mixed nuts

6. Stop drinking your calories. In fact, all of your drinks should come from non-calorie containing beverages. Fruit juice, sweet tea, sport drinks, alcoholic drinks, and sodas – these are all to be removed from your daily fare. Your best choices are water and green tea. The only exception would be a high quality protein shake 1-2 times a day.

7. Focus on whole foods.
There are a few times where supplement drinks and shakes are useful (post workout, especially), but focus on eating actual foods and stay away from baked protein bars.

8. Have 10% foods.
We know you cringed at a few of the rules above. But here’s the thing: 100% nutritional discipline is never required for optimal progress. The difference between 90% adherence to your nutrition program and 100% adherence is negligible. So you can allow yourself “10% foods” – foods that break rules, but which you’ll allow yourself to eat (or drink, if it’s a beverage) 10% of the time. Just make sure you do the math and determine what 10% of the time really means. For example, if you’re eating 6 meals per day for 7 days of the week – that’s 42 meals. 10% of 42 is about 4. Therefore you’re allowed to “break the rules” on about 4 meals each week.

9. MEAL PREP or have someone do it for you.
The hardest part about eating well is making sure you can follow the 8 rules above consistently. And this is where preparation comes in. You might know what to eat, but if it isn’t available, you’ll blow it when it’s time for a meal.

10. Balance daily food choices with healthy variety.
Let’s face it, when you’re busy during the week, you’re not going to be spending a ton of time whipping up gourmet meals. We get it. Just make sure to throw something in that’s different and tasty so that you don’t get bored and stagnant!

How To Eat Well During the Holidays

With all of the parties, traveling, family dinners, and holiday traditions, it’s sometimes a challenge to make it into the gym, much less eating well with all of the temptations around!

Here are some tips to help keep the extra weight away during the holiday season:

  1. Eat well throughout the day before going to the get together. In other words, don’t starve yourself all day in hopes of “saving calories.” This usually results in a binge eating session, leaving you feeling bad and miserable! Eat some protein and veggies every 3 hours leading up to the event.
  2. Drink a ton of water! The more hydrated you are, the better your body can flush out the toxins.
  3. When at a party or gathering, don’t waste calories on the foods that you can eat all year long. Ritz Crackers and cheese cubes can be eaten at anytime! We say skip that, and go for the Pumpkin Spice.
  4. Don’t stand by the appetizer table! This leads to mindless snacking. Get yourself a plate of food (fill it up!) and then go find someone to conversate with!
  5. Get a plate full of protein and veggies as your main course first. Once you have eaten that, then go back and fill up a new plate of goodies. The protein and veggies will be digesting and making you feel full faster.

ENJOY the holidays. Listen to your body when you’re satisfied (not full) and be done. Take a nap, then get outside and throw a football. Have some good food, then don’t take any left-overs home.

Merry Christmas and Happy Training!

S&C