The Weekly Dose of Awesome

This is without doubt, the most overdue Dose of Awesome written to date.  Our boy Robb P. has been with us since the early years of our old location.  And how he's continued to pursue his fitness without us honoring him on our blog, is as unforgivable as having bigger biceps than quads.

There have been countless moments over the years where Rob has made his mark on the UB timeline.

  • He was there when we created SWOD
  • He was one of our very first athletes to qualify into the Level 2 Competitors Class
  • Through down several times with the coaches during the Open to truly test his limits
  • Always made his presence felt at the UB's social and holiday parities.... This time testing the coaches limits
  • Even when life outside the gym got hectic, and Robb couldn't make class in time, you'd always find him working on his own in the back of the gym. 

I've had the honor to coach and watch Robb since the day he arrived all those moons ago.  And his attitude and effort once inside UB has never wavered.  Always focused.  Always giving his all.  Always making his coaches proud.  Always being the epitome of Awesome.    

Even the Dose of Awesome stops to smell the flowers.

Even the Dose of Awesome stops to smell the flowers.


Calling All Power Athletes

Jesse Burdick and CrossFit CSA will be hosting a powerlifting meet on Sunday, March 29. This is usually a great meet for beginners with a wide range of athletes. I'll be taking a few people from San Francisco CrossFit to compete, so if anyone is interested in doing their first powerlifting meet, they should register soon because these meets fill up fast. 

  • Who: Men or women with solid technique and at least 6 months of solid barbell training. Participants of SWOD should seriously consider giving it a try. 
  • What (do you need):  Must have a singlet for all lifts and must have knee high socks for the deadlift. For other costume and technical rules and requirements, have them contact me. 
  • When: Sunday, March 29 - be prepared to stay all day (9am to 7pm)
  • Where: CrossFit CSA in Pleasanton, CA
  • Why: Because we have a solid competition community here at United Barbell, and it can be fun to spread out to areas other than pure CrossFit! (Ask Jason L. or Andrew M. about their Olympic lifting competition experiences!)

Meet registration at:

http://powerwod.com/2015/01/23/2015-march-madness-open/

Meet information at:

http://powerwod.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/2015MarchMadnessPLOpen.pdf

Max C is thinking about it...... who else is interested??

Food for Thought: How Long Can I Keep Leftovers?

With so many getting their hands dirty in their Whole30 and cooking more frequently, I thought you might appreciate some food safety 101 knowledge.  The following article is from thekitchn.com

Do you know how long you can leave that potato salad on your buffet ? What temperature meat should be before it is safely cooked and done?

If you're not so sure, no worries: we've been doing a Food Safety 101 course this week to keep you and your guests happy and healthy.

We already talked a little bit about how long you can leave cooked food unrefrigerated. Today, how long can leftovers stay in my fridge before I throw them out?

Keeping Leftovers: Seven Days

For most leftovers, with the exception of highly perishable fish and seafood, or of food that is specifically marked otherwise, here is the rule of thumb. Eat it up or toss it in the trash after seven days. (Honestly, if you haven't eaten that tuna casserole surprise by then, were you really going to?!) We keep a dry-erase marker handy for labeling containers of leftovers with expiration dates.

To answer our questions about food safety we turned to a standard culinary school textbook: ServSafe Coursebook, Fourth Edition published by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

Food Safety 101
How Long Can I Leave Cooked Foods Unrefrigerated?
How to Defrost Frozen Meat
Safe Temperatures for Poultry and Meat

More on food safety
The Five Second Rule
USDA Ground Beef Recall
Where's the Safe Beef?
The Conscientious Cook: The Farm Bill Food Battle
Text Message for Safe Fish

Reflections of a Repeat Competitor

Chris C. is not afraid to compete.  In fact, he thrives on the challenge.  One of the things I really appreciate about how Chris approaches competing is he is in it for the learning.  Sure, the man enjoys a PR and dominating (who doesn't).  He enjoys being present in the experience and being swept up in all that it means to compete, but he is always up to take it in and learn from it.  Here are some of the reflections of Mr. Three T himself from this past weekend's NorCal Masters Competition:

Chris C. isn't happy when he finishes the finish line.  He's happy once he's helped the rest finish too.

Chris C. isn't happy when he finishes the finish line.  He's happy once he's helped the rest finish too.

1. Have fun- I made so many new acquaintances from the CrossFit community in general; men and women who were fascinating and supportive, and were there for the same purpose and to support others in a common goal. I encourage everyone to make new acquaintances when they go to these type of competitions.

2. Belief in your training- Preparation is everything and training with Coach Trent as well as training partners helped me in overcoming any jitters I previously had in competitions.

3. Get Bodywork- Several of the workouts exposed areas for me, namely body work and the need to work constantly on mobility just as much as make time for a WOD. This is crucial as having full range of motion can make the difference between a rep and no rep on a movement.

4. Community Support- During the chaos of a WOD, all I could hear were voices from UB. This made the difference when I thought I was done only to hear the ultimate words of encouragement: "One more." I am greatly and humbled by the support of Nikki, Jon, Tao Tao, Anita, Shaun, Deebau, Sam, Marshall, Jason and virtual support of the UB and CrossFit community via Facebook, text and Instagram as I believe it truly made a difference.

5. Trust your coach- I have been training with Coach Trent for 2 years and in the world of competition, he has taught me more about strategy (I.e. Developing a game plan) and sticking to the plan, as well as being present and not overthinking when to hear 3-2-1.  Once your coach believes in you as Trent did, and you believe in your coach, you will be able to do amazing things.

6. Use competitions as a Baseline- "You don't know how far you can go until you too far." Or as someone said to me this weekend, "it's not done until it's overdone." Now I know what my baseline is, even though these were my limits. I now have a baseline on what I need to do to improve in various sub-domains.  With this said, declaring what I want with a by when and now knowing current reality also provides me with an opportunity to build a structure to close the gap (I.e. barbell WOD, Metcons, OLY Classes and Kristen's mobility class).

Hot Pants!

Calling all ladies and secure men -- it's on! We want to help you stay on trend with your fit-wear, so we have decided to be a supplier of some awesome fancy pants!  Interested in rocking a pair of these sweet tights?  Read on for pre-order info!

All styles come in

  • Shorts ($42)
  • Scrunch Hot Pant ($45)
  • Crops ($65)
  • Pants ($70)

All pants come in XL, S, M, and L.   We recommend sizing up to accommodate a generous weightlifter booty and rock hard quads.

Interested?  Make sure to
email gym@unitedbarbell.com or post to comments with your print choice, style, and size by Wednesday.  These will drop mid February.

The Weekly Dose of Awesome

Izzy B. is Metal as F&*k.

If you have not met Izaak B. a.k.a. Izzy, you should. For those of you who have yet to befriend this unassuming chill dude with inked knee caps, let me tell you a little about him.

This international, multilingual creative, joined the UB community about 6 months ago and has since been making crazy strength and conditioning gains. Though new to CrossFit, Izzy is not deterred from a WOD containing advanced skills like muscle-ups and pistols, but tackles them with fierce determination. Just last week, Izzy was in my noon class, grinding through a particularly nasty workout, obviously in a very dark place, and I thought, "Is he going to make it?" Clearly, I am still getting to know Izzy. He may not be the first to finish a workout, but has unmatched heart and perseverance. Just a few months back, Izzy struggled to row 500m, now he can be found in open gym, rowing intervals totaling 5000m, training for a whiteboard-worthy 2K. 

Izzy is a delightful blend of Midwestern "salt of the earth" modesty, mixed with worldly humor and good old street smarts. Currently living in one of San Francisco's more colorful neighborhoods, Izzy has made peace with the people of the streets by buying them beer (though you won't catch him drinking). When encountered by a crazy person, Izzy has been known to take his shirt off and yell right back, shutting down the crazy and allowing him to live peacefully in his neighborhood.

With his talent in high demand, we nearly lost Izzy to job relocation. Luckily, he turned down his incredible offer and decided to take a month to teach in China. Since his return, Izzy has requested a membership upgrade to "super unlimited status," so chances are, you'll be seeing more of him. 

I'm pretty sure this jet-setter will be around for a limited time, so do yourself a favor and get to know this guy while you can. He will make your day!

Support Chris C. at the NorCal Masters Competition!

Have a free couple of hours Saturday or Sunday?  Support "Three - T" Chris C. and travel across the bridge and check out TJ's 2015 NorCal Master's Competition!  The even will run the full day on Saturday (830-5) and half day on Sunday (9-1).  

The 5th Annual TJ’s Events NorCal Masters competition will take place at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, CA on Saturday and Sunday, January 24 and 25, 2015.

The NorCal Masters is an annual two-day competition for Masters Athletes, with age divisions of 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, and 60+ in both genders.

Chris may not be new to the NorCal Masters Competition scene, but he could still use some support!  Want to attend?  Click here for ticket information and comment below to coordinate rides and find out who else will be attending!

Food for Thought: 5 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Whole 30 (Without Even Realizing It)

I’m super thrilled to see so many people starting off with Whole 30 programs this month! I don’t go in for fad diets, detoxes or any of the other New Year Resolution-type things that happen in January, but I LOVE the Whole 30 as a nutritional reset, a grounding tool and just a way to feel my absolute best.

Sometimes, though, I see people freaking out about whether they’re doing this Whole 30 thing right, or wondering why they can’t stick to the plan. So I’ve put together a list of the mistakes I see people making most often – I hope it helps you on your way to a successful Whole 30!

You don’t know why you’re really doing the Whole 30, anyway

I’ve written a little about this before: one of the best ways to follow through on a Whole 30 is to know why you’re doing it in the first place. And as odd as it sounds, lots of people don’t actually know!

What do I mean by that? It’s easy (and perhaps common) to think of a Whole 30 like yet another fad or diet. Or to just file it under the age old resolution to “get healthy”. But I like to think of it more as a tool. For me personally, it’s the tool I use to get back in touch with my body’s needs and wants. It’s how I relearn intuitive eating and feel more connected to myself. What are you hoping to gain from YOUR Whole 30? Maybe you want to identify food intolerances or allergies. Maybe you want clearer skin. Maybe you want to get off those heartburn medications.

Figure out what you want to achieve, because without purpose, it’s easy to meander off the Whole 30 path. Stay focused!

You’re not eating enough

I think this is probably the most common mistake I see. It’s so easy to bring old “diet” baggage with us when starting out on a Whole 30 and what do most of us expect to be while on a diet? Hungry. And bored. And maybe a little resentful.

When you subconsciously expect all those things to be true, you tend not to eat enough to function well. Before you know it, you’re hangry and probably hating life just a tad. And you’re considering eating that pizza or cookie – talk about a train to temptation town. But it doesn’t have to be that way! You’re avoiding food that isn’t nutritionally optimal, not going on a 300 day juice fast. (Blargh.) Eat as much Whole 30 compliant food as you need to eat to be truly satiated. Listen to your body and it will tell you what to do. If you’re hungry, eat up!

If you need help with working out how much to eat, check out Whole 30’s meal planning template here.

You’re not eating enough fat

This, I suspect, is another little detox / diet habit we sneak in with us. We’re so used to years upon years of pushing “low fat” as synonymous with healthy. Not to mention the demonization of saturated fat.

Most people simply aren’t used to the idea of eating fat for health and nutrition, especially when it comes to grass fed or pastured animal fats. Tallow and lard can be intimidating! But if you’re constantly hungry between meals, add in a few sources of good Whole 30 friendly fats. Put some coconut milk in your curry, saute your veggies in some coconut oil, add some avocado to your meal. Go on, you’ll feel better for it, I promise.

You’re trying to do too much at once

Since you’re already cutting out all grains, added sugars, soy, dairy, beans, legumes, processed “foods” or treats, you may as well go low carb, too. Right? And start Crossfit for the first time. Oh, and maybe try that Keto thing, too.

Now maybe you ARE superhuman, but that’s an awful lot of change trying to happen at once. If this is your first ever Whole 30, it’s probably quite a shock to your system, depending on what your habits were like before. So perhaps now is not the time to overhaul everything at once or to pile more requirements onto your Whole 30 – and yourself. Stop chasing after a perfect model of “health” for a second – because that looks different for all of us. Take a deep breath and remember that focus we talked about before: take one thing at a time, starting with your Whole 30. Your body will thank you for it and you’ll get to hold onto some sanity, which makes it easier all around.

You’re just a little bit of a perfectionist

I get it. I really, really do. You want to do everything right, including your Whole 30.

You’re grilling all providers of food on what type of cooking oil they use and if it’s organic. You’re taking pictures of your food. You keep checking if x, y or z are Whole 30 compliant. In short, you’re probably driving yourself and everyone around you slowly insane.

I see plenty of people tracking macros, counting calories or writing food diaries while on the Whole 30 – even though the creators of the program explicitly say here that they “don’t think weighing, measuring or tracking your intake facilitates a healthy, sustainable relationship with food.” Take a step back and stop worrying! If you are eating nutrient-dense whole foods, your body will TELL you when it needs more food and when it’s had enough. You don’t have to rely on empty numbers or figures to make this work – YOU are all you need!

What’s Yoda got to do with your Whole 30?

“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

Well, we’re not quite so serious over here, but one of the key things about doing a successful Whole 30 is about being prepared – both in terms of ourselves AND our kitchens!

Why? Because being hungry leads to poor choices. Which often leads to guilt. Which leads to quitting.

From Meatified.com

All Things Grip

There is a good chance that you've heard one of us coaches discuss proper hand prep. We've probably also talked to you about the best callus maintenance out there we've found.  And if you do tear?  We've most likely talked to you about that too.  But what do you do mid-WOD when your hands are starting to feel pre-tear crunchy?

                                                                             Because your hands shouldn't be a bloody mess...

                                                                             Because your hands shouldn't be a bloody mess...

The key is how you hold the bar. When people are tired, they tend to get their full palm on the bar and grip tight and kip big. This is in fact, the opposite of what you should be doing. To get the full story, I strongly recommend this free PDF download from the CrossFit Journal. It goes into all things hands and grip. Get it, read it, and enjoy WODing with better hand health.

Compete-a-phobic?

Did you register for the CF Open?  No?  You're hesitating you say?  Here is something to think about...

Competition. It's good for performance, it's good for character, it's good for the soul. In games season, competition is everywhere, but why limit yourself to competing in an official arena? Every day can be a competition with yourself. It might be as simple as beating your time or score, but maybe it's to not walk one step of the runs in a WOD, or maybe it's to do all your pullups unbroken.

Why frame it as a competition? It keeps you in check with your goals - What are you doing every day to get there? Does every choice you make get you closer? Winning involves the entire journey - from committing to your goals and working your face off to achieve them. You are up against you and every excuse you give yourself. To win is to choose to push yourself a little harder everyday and overcome the obstacles you have set up for yourself.

Of course, all of this requires that you are not just setting goals, but tracking your progress - you can even set up mini goals and give yourself small prize rewards for hitting your marks, both integral pieces to climbing the mountain of athletic success.