Welcome back to the Friday Five with your host, two time CrossFit Games Documentary Watcher, John “Dad Joke” Mack (I think that might have been one right there).
If you have been following along at home, you’ll know that every Friday I will be reposting five links to what I consider worthwhile fitness/CrossFit content. It will fall into one of five categories: nutrition, training/instructional, mindset, mobility and technology/gadgets. Lots of practical tips and advice and occasionally a bit of frivolous nonsense that made me chuckle or excited my juvenile spirit. So without further wordiness and hyperbole, here is the FRIDAY FIVE!
In the health and fitness world there is so much noise about supplements and how they can help you achieve six pack abs, superhuman strength, dangerously high testosterone levels and laser mental focus. For the most part many are ineffective, harmless and brilliantly marketed, but some are actually worthwhile. The site I am referencing below, www.examine.com, is a great resource for confirming or debunking nutrition and supplement claims. Examine uses verified studies and unlike many resources isn’t on the payroll of the company trying to sell you the product! The results can be a bit wordy and scientific, but they have handy synopses for those who want the Cole’s notes. As a side note, if you aren’t taking care of the “big three”; Nutrition, Hydration and Sleep, then supplementation shouldn’t be a priority.
As athletes (and we are all athletes) there is one absolute certainty. If you have been training long enough, you will experience some sort of injury. Whether it is a sprained ankle from an unlucky misstep, a rotator cuff injury from a Friday night volleyball league gone wrong or a pulled hamstring from kicking up into a handstand (this happened to me and was simultaneously shocking and embarrassing), injury will rear its ugly head at some point. The way we deal with injury mentally, can really separate those who will continue to improve in and out of the gym and those who will experience the roller coaster of two steps forward and one step back in their training career. Here’s a great article on how to use a positive mindset to tackle one of those “why me” moments.
In CrossFit, we do a lot of picking things up and putting them down. As a result of this many of us experience tight upper backs and traps (especially after “Hang Power insert the blank day”). I know this stretch is a staple for me pretty much every day as it not only helps us with thoracic mobility, but provides relief in the traps, lats and shoulders. Best of all it can be performed anywhere you have a flat, stable surface. Countertops, couches, beds and racked olympic bars have all served me well. Give it a try and enjoy!
As any trainer worth his or her salt will tell you, some form of dead lift should be included in your program. One of the best “bang for buck” exercises and also one of the most functional, dead lifts will not only help you get stronger, fitter, bigger, and sexier (not scientifically proven), they will also help you kick a$$ well into your old age! Who doesn’t need to pick up things off the floor! That being said, dead lifts also come with a higher risk/reward factor. Incorrectly performed dead lifts, even at lighter weights can be a one-way ticket to injury. It’s important to treat any and every weight the same way and approach it with a mental checklist so that you can stay safe and strong! Here is a great list of common mistakes when performing dead lifts that you can incorporate into your checklist pronto!
Around the box, you may have seen some of our athletes wearing what look like watches without faces. What are these mysterious devices that don’t leave the wrists of some of our top performers? They are called Whoop Bands and they are taking the training wold by storm. That funky little device measures a whole host of body metrics like resting heart rate, heart rate variability, sleep quality and more to provide a complete picture of how well your body is responding to your training and recovery. Here is a great podcast on what the Whoop is, how to use it and why you should be using it.
And there it is people. Five nuggets of information that I think can make you a better athlete and person, or at minimum a little more knowledgeable!
Hope you enjoyed it.
Till next time. Be positive, have fun and stay safe.