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28
Aug

Nutrition!

I was reading some staggering statistics this weekend while researching for this blog post and what I came across really surprised me; there are over 200,000 different fast food chains in the United States and Americans are spending an average of $190 billion dollars a YEAR on fast food. The reason I am putting these statistics first is because a society as a whole we are over fed but undernourished. As Richard stated before in one of his blog posts, over 24 million Americans are obese and we are not eating the necessary nutrients to sustain our bodies.

So now that the shock and awe factor has passed how about some general guidelines on what to eat, how to eat, and when to eat? One of Richards’s most recent blog posts was about the importance of eating breakfast so I won’t go into too much detail on that but I will say that eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day and is crucial in energizing your body to function throughout the day and a key to any body composition or performance goals. So ask, what do I eat for breakfast? Well, everyone is different and while some people might disagree with my breakfast of choice, I start my day of with several cups of spinach and kale blend with 3-6 eggs all blended in a blender cooked in some ground beef; now, as I said, this is just what I eat and is a suggestion, everyone has a different opinion of breakfast but this is what I have been eating for a little over a year now every day along with a good cup of coffee. This breakfast may seem like a lot of fat and while most people believe that the word “fat” is always negative, eating fats in the morning helps keep you fuller longer and can help slow down your digestion. As of late, I have not been eating carbohydrates in the morning because I do not need to spike my blood sugar early in the morning.  

Lunch is an easy meal for me to make because as I have said in past blogs, I am a huge advocate for meal prepping and my lunch is very basic but still filling. It will normally consists of some type of spiced, low sodium chicken, (I have been keen on making crockpot chicken lately because it takes such little effort to prepare) and some type of green vegetable with a half of an avocado; very simple and very filling. This is usually my last big meal before I workout but if I workout before lunch my meal is a little different and I will discuss pre workout nutrition and post workout nutrition here in a bit.

A normal dinner for me, usually is right after I workout and what your body needs right after exercise needs to be a fast absorbing carbohydrate and my carbohydrate of choice is normally white or red potatoes with either a couple eggs or ground beef because it is quick to make and quick to eat. Once I am finished eating that, I eat some quinoa and chicken with some type of vegetable to hold me over until breakfast. Again these all are quick and easy meals that I can make anytime I need them and prepare them for the week ahead.

Now, pre workout nutrition can be tricky because it is something you need to gauge time wise for yourself because each person is going to be different but normally about an hour and a half before I train, I will eat a piece of fruit and some potatoes so I have something on my stomach and something to hold me over during my training. For some people this may be too much or too soon before training and no one wants to see what they ate mid training session.

Again these are some general ideas and guidelines for what I use to fuel my body on a regular basis and to be honest, I do actually enjoy eating this way. As you fuel your body with good nutrition and get rid of the crap, your taste buds change and your appetite changes with it so I do not have a problem turning down bad food; I fuel my body with what it needs to function and perform well. Again, I am a huge advocate of meal prepping and I believe it is an effective and easy way to change your lifestyle (I do not like the word diet, diets do not work, they come and go, but if you change your lifestyle, that is something that lasts).

I hope you find this blog post helpful and insightful! And if you have any questions or need recipe ideas, feel free to ask!  

 

Matt Neid

M.S.

CF-L1

 

24
Aug

Why Exercise & Diet is Hard

Exercise is easy, you show up. I think everyone can agree that getting to the gym is the hardest part of their workout. Once you are there most of us knock out what we need to do and go home. A little selfless promotion here but a CrossFit gym is even easier. We already have your workout written up for you, we warm up you up and cool you down and we show you, teach you and break down every movement so you can perform them safely and optimally.

 

We all know that the “real” hard part of getting your body the way you want it is the diet. But a diet really isn’t that hard either. Here is a quick break down of what exactly a diet should look like:

-Healthy Food Choices

-Eating Enough Food

-Eating at the Right Time

 

Those are the attributes that make up a proper diet that will help you change your body composition. Are there more attributes? Sure, but if you can do those three your body will change in a positive way. (want to find out more about those three attributes shoot us an email [email protected])

 

So if exercise is as simple as showing up and to get in shape and change body composition is built of only three attributes why is it so hard for people to STICK TO SOMETHING?

 

The answer is simple, Judgment from others.

 

Anyone who has tried a new exercise program or diet has had some type of judgement from someone. Whether it’s them saying, “That program is too hard core for me,” or “Do you really weigh and measure your food?”

 

Little comments like that create self doubt and eventually you lose desire to continue with whatever you are doing before you really even get into the program.

 

I was listening to a podcast recently and I heard the phrase, “Stick up for yourself, and you will really be sticking up for them.” The basis of that is at some point they are going to give in when they realize that you really can stick to something.

 

Nothing gives more satisfaction to someone who doesn’t diet or exercise to hear about or see someone who stopped their diet or quit their gym.

 

Surround yourself with like minded and driven individuals and progress will happen. If you are surrounded by people who bring you down because of your positive life choices stay strong and when they see your change they will come around.

 

This is a really cool clip from a video I watched with Katrin Davidsdottir, 2x CrossFit Games Champ, talks about her mind set when people give her crap about eating how she needs to eat. The video should start right where they talk about it.

 

 

If you want more information on diet and exercise check out our website and sign up for a free intro!!!!!

 

Richard Andrews

 

Co-Owner BWCF

 

CF-L2

 

10
Jul

Want to break through your plateau? Add this…

A common question that I get from my members is, “Richard, I am losing weight and feeling good but I have plateaued a little, what can I add to my routine to help me tone up more and lose a few more pounds?” My response to them is usually not what they are looking for.

Being in the fitness industry I hear a lot of things that are new and magical that will help people lose weight and tone up. There are so many “Get Skinny Quick” schemes out there right now, and people are so desperate to lose weight quickly without any effort, that they will pay or do almost anything to try.

True weight loss and body composition change comes to people who work at it and have the discipline to stick with it. The issue is that most of us do not have that. How many people do you know in your life tried out a fad diet, meal plan system or fad weight loss system and lost some weight? Now how many of those people have kept that weight off? People can have success on the fads but they are not sustainable and this is why they almost always gain their weight back.

So then naturally people want to add more exercise when they start to plateau. They don’t want to do the two most difficult things in health and fitness, 1. Sleep 2. Eat healthy.

When someone asks me what they should add to their routine my first question to them is, “How much sleep do you get each night?” And I would say at least 90% of people tell me less than 7 hours.

Everyone is so busy now days and sleep is usually put on the back burner as far as importance throughout the day. Someone will make extra time for some additional workouts but won’t make time to get to bed earlier. Someone would spend hundreds of dollars on a supplement to help them burn fat but won’t make time for extra sleep.

There are the obvious reasons to get adequate sleep like being less cranky and irritable. But there are even more reasons that many people do not know about. During sleep your body releases all different types of hormones that are to help you regulate and recover while you sleep. Here are a few – HGH, cortisol, insulin, leptin, ghrelin – this isn’t a research paper so I’m not going to list what they all do or cite sources but feel free to do some research on them.

Here are the basics of what all those hormones do. They help you be healthy. From helping you not store fat in unwanted places like your belly, hips and liver. To burning the fat already stored in the unwanted places. Our bodies repair itself during sleep and that includes building muscle.

When you sleep more than 7 hours each day your hormones will also help you feel less hungry and more satisfied. Those that do not sleep enough usually have more more food cravings and less self control.

So the first step to breaking through a plateau is getting more sleep. It won’t matter how much exercise you do if you are not sleeping enough you won’t lose the weight or break through your exercise plateau. For most people getting more sleep is a lot easier than trying to stay super strict to a diet plan. Here are some tips for getting more, higher quality sleep.

  • Eat a healthy, higher quality diet. If you are eating better you’ll sleep better. It is a cycle.
  • Make your room as dark as possible and keep it cool.
  • Avoid electronic screens before bed. Do not use your phone, kindle, ipad or tv when you are in bed.
  • Avoid caffeine late at night or for some as early as the afternoon.
  • Do not over eat before bed.
  • Avoid alcohol before bed.

Lastly, plan out your sleep. If you are someone who never gets 7 or more hours of sleep you need to plan. Time block your day in a way that leaves you the right amount of sleep. If you are not getting enough sleep each day you will not break through that plateau.

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Andrews

CF-L2

3
Jul

1% Change

As a business owner I try to educate myself as much as I can. From reading books and articles to listening to podcasts and sitting in on webinars.  Although I have learned a lot over the last couple years a common theme in many of these self educating avenues is “make a small change and you will find big success.” Different people call it different things from a “2 mm shift” or a “1% change” it doesn’t matter because it has the same impact.

What I realize now is that the same application can be made to someones CrossFit life. Many times people will tell me, “My biggest goal is to get my first pull up!” But the only practice they give themselves is when pullups show up in workouts.

It is not very often that someone will walk in and do a perfect pullup or get a muscle up on their first day. It takes time and practice to get there. If you want to get better at something you need practice and you need to practice often.

 

There is a list of about five movements that if everyone had they would be happy.

  1. Pullups
  2. Toes To Bar
  3. Double Unders
  4. Bar & Ring Muscle Ups
  5. Handstand Pushups

 

All of these movements involve a high level of skill and some combine timing and coordination but all can be learned relatively quick with some practice. Each one of these has progressions to them. Some start with strength and others start with technique, but no matter what you will not learn these quickly unless you practice.

If you want to do double unders get to the gym early and practice for five minutes before class. If you want to get your first pullup stay after class for five minutes and practice. If you want toes to bar but do not have the core strength yet hit some sit ups and other ab exercises at home. Whatever the movement is you have to practice.

Most of the time the whole reason you came to CrossFit is because you wanted some instruction, and our instruction doesn’t end on the main floor. A good coach succeeds at off the floor coaching as well. Grab a coach and have them give you some ideas for how you can attack your goals. Many times you can schedule a private session with one where they can spend a little more time focused on you.  

The common theme to this blog was PRACTICE. Five minutes a day could change your workouts. If you never have to scale your workouts will be a lot more fun and having fun is how you get results!

 

Richard Andrews

CF-L2

19
Jun

Why are Amino Acids Important?

Time and time again I am asked, “What supplements should I be taking?” And although I believe there are a handful out there that you should take the one’s that I believe everyone can and should are BCAA’s and Whey Protein Powder.

BCAA stands for “Branch Chain Amino Acids” and in short these are the “building blocks” of protein. Why are they important? If your body does not have enough amino acids in it from food or supplementation your body will look to get them from another source. Usually the other source will be your muscles. During and after exercise your body is looking to repair your muscles and if it does not have an adequate supply of amino acids then it will look to repair muscles by breaking down other muscles.

So during and post workout your body is wanting to Breakdown (burn) fat, build and repair muscles. In order to do this your body must have an adequate supply of amino acids. Without them your body will still breakdown and repair, but this time it is breaking down muscle to repair other muscles. That means after you just busted your butt in a workout you are now burning your muscle and not as much fat as you should be!

If we are eating as we should be with three to four meals a day that all have enough protein we should maintain enough amino acids in our bodies that we avoid breaking down muscle. But let’s be honest most of us are not eating as we should be. Which means that our body is lacking in amino acids and is probably not burning the fat we want.

Most people think that if they are not eating then they must be losing weight because they are not taking in very many calories, and most of the time the scale will show it. But almost everyone knows that muscle weighs more than fat, and we now know that without the right amount of amino acids we are not burning fat but breaking down muscle. So the weight loss starts to happen but our body composition usually stays the same and eventually we plateau and then we quit all together.

Now that I have snuck that tidbit in there take a look at your diet. Have you hit a plateau? Check out how many meals you are eating each day and how much protein you are consuming. If you are not consuming at least (.6g x you body weight) you are probably in the category of someone who breaks down muscle and not as much fat.  

So how can supplementing with amino acids and whey protein help you burn fat, build and repair muscle? By taking a powdered amino acid supplement pre workout you can fight off some of the muscle burning effects of exercise. Then post workout if you immediately supplement with 25-40g of Whey Protein Powder you will give your body the nutrients and amino acids it needs to properly repair the muscles you damaged during your workout.

In conclusion, first check your diet. Are you eating enough protein throughout the day? If not fix that first! Then head down to your local supplement store and buy a container of amino acids and a tub of whey protein and start your supplementation routine pre and post workout.

If you do not know what brands to try here are a few of my favorite.

BCAA (amino acids):

Protein Powder:

***Keep in mind that not all protein powders are created equal. There is a reason why some powders are super cheap. Check out ingredients and what is added before you start putting things in your body.

 

Richard Andrews

Head Coach, BWCF

 

 

 

 

14
Jun

Don’t Skip Breakfast

I was watching the news last week when they showed a stat that scared me. It said that at least 10% of the population completely skips breakfast and another 20% eat less than 500 calories for breakfast. Those two stats seems crazy to me but that’s not what scared me. The next stat was, those who skipped breakfast were 4.5 times more likely to be obese than those who did not.

To most people the thought is, “I am not hungry in the morning so I don’t eat, and that means I am eating less calories so I will eventually lose weight.” But obviously that is false because almost 24 million people in the US skip breakfast and are obese.

Science has shown that if you eat a meal in the morning it will help kick start digestion and fire up your metabolism. It should help you regulate your blood sugar and help you stay energized throughout the morning and keep you from making bad snack choices and overeating at lunch.

If you are someone who does not eat breakfast but just read that and are now saying, “I’ll just pick some breakfast up on my way to work.” Don’t do that either! You don’t know what they are making their food from, what they use to cook with and most of the time breakfast food from restaurants are frozen and the microwaved for you.

So what should your breakfast look like? Let me give you an example of what your breakfast should not look like first:

-Oatmeal or Cereal

-Orange Juice

-Fruit (Strawberries, Bananas, Mangos, etc…)

-Greek Yogurt

Most people would look at this breakfast and go, “But that seems pretty healthy?” And compared some breakfast choices it is very healthy. But our goal for breakfast is to help our bodies and to have us feeling fuller longer. But a breakfast like the one above is mostly carbs and that is bad for two reasons. First, although it looks like it could be a lot of food it is only about 400 calories, and for most of us adults we will go through that pretty quick. The second reason is that your blood sugar is going to skyrocket. I could go on and on about the glycemic index and how insulin is produced and how the changing of hormones throughout the day can affect energy levels as well as body composition but I’ll save that for another blog, but just know it is bad and is not going to help you in your weight loss or body composition change.

So what should a breakfast look like? It is my opinion (*someone who is not a dietitian) that your breakfast should be made up of mostly protein and fat. Some carbs are ok but I would keep them to less than an ounce and make sure they are not sugary carbohydrates.

Why mostly protein and fat? Well for one if you are someone who exercises protein in the morning is a must, and really at every meal. Eating protein helps your body stay in a state where it is repairing muscle and burning fat. So it’s important that we eat protein in every meal so that our body does not go into fat storage mode instead. How much protein will vary from person to person but if I had to give you a range 20-40g of protein is a good one.

When someone uses the word fat we automatically associate that with the word obese. But fat is a nutrient that we need and serves its purpose. For breakfast we want to consume fats because it will help slow down our digestion which ultimately will make you feel full longer.

I believe that people skip breakfast in the morning because they do not want to take the time to prepare something. They do not want to spend five minutes the night before figuring out what to make for breakfast and they do not want to spend ten to fifteen minutes making and eating breakfast in the morning, because the believe that those ten to fifteen minutes of extra sleep is going to better their day……

In short, make breakfast! Make sure it is not a sugary cereal, bread or grain based breakfast. Do not be lazy search the internet and find what you need and wake up a few minutes early because eating breakfast will help you for the day way more than ten to fifteen extra minutes of sleep.

I hope this helps and if you fall into the category of people who do not eat breakfast it is time to change!

 

Richard Andrews

Head Coach & Partner at BayWay CrossFit

 

23
May

Regionals 2017 Recap

Probably the most stressful weekend of my entire life.

CrossFit has been apart of my life since 2010 but it wasn’t until I watched Rich Fronning fall from a rope that I realized I wanted to compete on that stage. Every year I try and every year I get closer and closer but I’ve never been as close as I was this weekend.

I am part of an awesome community at BayWay CrossFit but had the opportunity to compete on a team under CrossFit Eado, and it was the best decision I could have made. I would drive five times a week for the last six months back and forth from Baytown to downtown Houston to train with my team. Sacrificing time with my family and my business to try and capture this dream I have been dreaming for so long.

We were a team full of very talented individuals and finished first place at the end of the open. We had one girl go individual and even with losing her scores we still were top five in our region.

When the workouts were released for this weekend we had no idea what to expect. Confidence was high but we were unsure how the weekend would go because fifty percent of the workouts had a new object to regionals called the worm. (Basically a 450 pound canvas log filled with sand, that turned out to be our demise.)

 

All I have wanted for the last eight years has been to compete at the CrossFit Games. This might be the closest I will ever get and the heartbreak that comes with the is more than I expected.

Hindsight being 20/20 I wish there was more classic CrossFit workouts for the team. The worm was truly our achilles heel. Looking at it now we could view it in two ways. Our no reps on each worm workout cost us the podium or the worm forced six of the best individuals to work as one and we couldn’t.

I do feel that judging on the worm was inconsistent and that this year there were two types of judges on the floor. The first were the scared judges. They were so nervous to be approached by the head judges that they were unable to perform their duties well. The second type were the power trip judges. These were the ones who finally had a moment of power in their lives and they abused it. There is probably a third type of judge and that is an overall good judge, but those were so rare through the weekend that I wouldn’t put them as a category.

This was the first time at any competition that I have ever been apart of that I did not learn the name of any judge as we took the floor. I feel that CrossFit is trying to make the playing field so fair that it is actually becoming unfair. Obviously this is coming from a bitter place missing the Games by so little but I feel there is room for improvement and CrossFit should recognize that. Team competition is so much different than individual. You have to rely on five other people to help you be successful. If you are not completely a unit you will fail. That is where we missed the Games not the judges.

Obviously there are tons of positives from this weekend they are just overshadowed by what was a sixth place finish. We had an event win on the last day when we aboslutley needed it to give us a shot. I had a strong finish with a Brittany on event 3 to move us into the top ten. Watching Kevin hold onto that eighty pound dumbbell at the end of event 1 was an inspiring way to start off the weekend. Camzin staying strong and making a 55 pound dumbbell look light on day three. Sara kicking ass and conquering the handstad pushups on event 1 and Josh although being only twenty years old showing poise and confidence throughout his first regional.

The unfortunate part is that our team is full of individuals who aspire to be more than semi-professional competitive exercisers and there is no way that we could field this team again next year. Which makes the pill of missing the Games even harder to swallow. I have really bonded with everyone and have made some really good friends that I will truly miss.  

What’s next for me I am still unsure. I want nothing more than to be out on that floor competing with everyone but I have come to a point in my life where I need to make a decision. Continue to be poor and pursue a dream that will ultimately earn me no money or try and make my business into something great and better my career and my family. I watched the competition all weekend seeing our coach and other coaches in action and I realized that is something I want to do. I saw the way our coach, Connor, was after each workout and how supportive he was. I saw coaches like Matt Chan get fired up while coaching their individual athletes and it made me so happy. I know that is something I would love to do and I know that I am capable of doing it.

I have been doing this for a long time. I have had some really good coaches along the way that I have learned a lot from and I haven’t done too bad for myself in competition. I love to write programming and have some pretty good ideas for what would help push someone to that next level. I know what works, I know what it takes and I feel that I can pass along a lot of value to someone who is looking for it.

This year is going to be hard to get past. Not only being so close to qualifying for the Games and letting it slip through our fingers but the heartbreak of not being around, training and spending time with eight people that I’ve grown to love.

I want to thank everyone who came and supported the team and myself. My awesome wife for all her support and love throughout the weekend. My parents for always supporting me in everyhting I do. My sister for her endless support. My 90 year old grandpa was able to watch me compete for the first time! Now he knows why I miss so many family events. My aunt and uncle John & Diane, my cousin Kristi and the kiddos and my entire family back home watching on youtube and sending me texts. My inlaws, Brad and Mary, driving down from Dallas to watch, and Heath and Lisa and the little ones. A huge portion of BayWay CrossFit coming to San Antonio to support their coach! And obviously everyone who came from CF Eado to support the team. I am astonished by the support that I recieve everytime I compete. CrossFit has opened the doors for me in so many ways and has allowed me to connect with people I’d never be able to whithout it.

2018 will start today but with a different focus. I hope to return to the regional floor in some way next year as an individual, team athlete or a coach.

-Richard

 

 

15
May

What Supplements?

What Supplements?

If you have been exercising for any extended period of time the same question seems to always present itself, “what supplements should I be taking?”.  I myself have asked this question numerous times.  Let’s first start by saying that supplementation is just that, supplementing.  Whether your goal is aesthetics, performance or just general health it all comes down to what you put on your plate.  Without a proper and appropriate nutritional plan there is no firm foundation to build upon and everything will fall.  

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way let’s get to the fun stuff!  I assume that if you are reading this that your primary mode of fitness transportation is CrossFit.  Why do we CrossFit?  One, to lose weight and look great naked.  Two, to compete with others to push ourselves to the next level, and look great naked!  To some degree we are all a little vain, don’t worry its human nature.  We strive to be the strongest of the pack to assert dominance.  What better way to assert dominance without physical harm to others than simply looking like you could destroy them!  Having said that, I have chosen what I believe to be the best 3 supplements that have an effect on both performance and body composition.

Number 1:  Whey Protein Powder

I know, I know.  You probably thought the number 1 supplement would be some crazy herb from South East Asia that increases testosterone, cuts body fat in half and does your taxes.  Nope, good old fashioned Whey protein takes the cake.  This has been a staple in performance enhancement for the better part of a century and continues to this day.  When: Within 30 minutes of finishing up a WOD is the best time for recovery.  If you are concerned with getting in enough full meals in the day to meet your calorie and protein needs you can throw in a shake to round out the day.  Dosage:  Rule of thumb is between 0.5 and 1.2 grams per pound of bodyweight.  Too broad?  Get with a coach and they can help you out on what would be best for you.

Number 2:  Fish Oil

The wonderful world of scaring people away with fishy burps awaits you!  Only kidding, if you choose a quality fish oil.  Fish oil has tons of benefits for the body most importantly supporting healthy cholesterol levels, maintaining strong bones, and aiding in central nervous system function.  There are a wide variety of fish oils on the market, so do your homework.  When:  In general between 2-3 servings per day is typical for most products out there.  I would suggest timing these in a way that keeps a dosage from falling right after or right before a workout due to possible gastrointestinal distress.  Dosage: The recommended dosing for general health ranges as low as 250-500mg of a combined EPA and DHA total.  While this is fine for general health, higher activity level individuals can require upwards of 3-5grams per day.  I would not recommend jumping right into the large dosages as just mentioned, but definitely adding this supplement to your diet is a must.

Number 3: Melatonin

This one was a hard choice.  While I can make a very strong argument for BCAA’s, Creatine, Caffeine, HMB, Beta-alanine, and a laundry list of others, melatonin stands alone in one regard.  When we consider exercise most of the time we think with a go-go, 110% effort, run through brick walls attitude.  That is totally fine and honestly will get you to great places.  However, what happens when the workout ends?  The Incredible Hulk isn’t always incredible!  He has to turn back into Bruce Banner and recover before he goes completely crazy in another fight.  Our bodies have to be able to recover, and do so quickly because the next workout is only 24 hours away!  This is where sleep is the winner.  We recover best while in a state of sleep called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.  The faster your body can get into this state of sleep the better you can recover.  This is where melatonin comes in.  I have heard people say before that they take melatonin and don’t get tired.  Well it isn’t a horse tranquilizer it’s a sleep aid.  This hormone is naturally produced in the pineal gland and helps with regulation of sleep patterns.  We fluctuate in and out of deep sleep and this is the hormone responsible for those fluctuations.  The regulation of how much melatonin we produce is light dependent.  In our culture it is not out of the ordinary to have every light and television on in the house up until the point we get in bed.  Even at that point we are still bombarding our eyes with light from those tiny screens on our phones.  In an ideal world the lights would be out an hour before we actually fall asleep which would allow our bodies to produce enough of the hormone to push us into deep sleep.  Since that world does not exist, an exogenous form of the hormone can help us out.  When: typically 30 minutes before bedtime.  Dosage:  for adults it varies widely between 0.2 mg to 20mg in most supplements.  Just like with most supplements it is dependent on the person so start light and work your way up.

 

Conclusion:

There are thousands upon thousands of supplements out there for you to try.  I based my choices off what I find to be the best for me and provide the most bang for the buck.  If you are interested in trying out any supplements there is years of experience at your disposable between your coaches at BayWay CrossFit.  One of the benefits of CrossFit is having a coaching staff and community that wants you to be the best possible you that you can be.  We are all here for you and will help guide you in any way possible.        

 

 

Asa Basco

M.E., CF-L1

7
May

Athlete Spotlight: Kasi B

Athlete Spotlight

First Name & Last Initial

Kasi B.

Home Town

Baytown

Age

29 (at the time of this survey!)

Occupation

College and Career Specialist

When did you first start CrossFitting?

February 2015

When did you first start training at BayWay CrossFit?

February 2015

Favorite WOD

Anything with body weight movements such as push ups, pullups, handstand pushups, etc. I also like light weight power snatches!

Least Favorite WOD

Anything with thrusters, and more recently, the assault bike!

Tell us about your sports & fitness background?

Before discovering crossfit, I had always worked out in the typical gym atmosphere; running on the treadmill until I got bored, wandering over to the stair climber, then lifting some weights, then going home. There was never any consistent structure or programming to my workouts.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD…what was it, and how did it feel?

I was tired of the same gym routine and ready to try something new. My friend Laura and I tried out BayWay for the first time together. My first weightlifting experience was the clean and jerk! I had never done that type of weightlifting before, only the typical gym machines and dumbbells. I am VERY uncoordinated but Coach Asa was really patient with me. I remember him helping me while Coach Richard instructed the class and then moving us to the back of the room so he could teach us one on one. No one ever got frustrated with us. All of the coaches were very encouraging!

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit? (before/after)

I wish I would have taken Coach Richard’s advice when he said to take a picture of myself the day I signed up! I didn’t because, honestly, I didn’t think I would stick with it long enough to see any significant changes. 2 years later, I look back at older BayWay pictures and videos that I am in and can definitely tell a difference in how lean I have become. Everyone compliments me on my back now (and my traps!) so I guess that is the biggest difference!

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected?

I have always enjoyed working out but Crossfit has become a natural stress reliever for me that I make time for. No matter how stressful my day is or how much I have going on, for the one hour that I am at BayWay I completely forget about everything.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit/BayWay CrossFit moments?

Everyone is like family! We joke with one another but also encourage each other. Although I may not hang out with everyone outside of the gym, I truly feel like I have a genuine friend in each member of BayWay Crossfit.

Any advice for people just getting started?

If you are hesitant to try out crossfit, remember that we have all been in your shoes! We were all beginners at one point or another. Don’t let the insecurities of not being the best, not knowing the movements, or not being in shape hold you back from achieving your health and fitness goals. One of my favorite quotes is “A year from now you will wish you had started today.” Come, try it out and then stay consistent. I began BayWay only coming two days a week and maybe a Saturday workout here and there. Before I knew it, I was an unlimited member working out 6 days a week! You won’t know what BayWay Crossfit can do for you unless you try it out.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?

Outside of BayWay Crossfit, I enjoy spending time with my husband and my 2 dogs. Additionally, I am working on my Master’s degree so that keeps me pretty busy!
2
May

Achieving Wellness with a Hectic Work Schedule

Achieving wellness and health with a hectic lifestyle

There are 24 hours in a day and in this day and age it seems like every second is precious. With today’s crazy and fast moving life, you have to balance a career, social life, family, and daily chores which has made exercise at the bottom of our societies list. It is often hard to make time to exercise and get at least 30-45 minutes of a decent workout. Some people are fortunate enough to work 9-5 jobs in various fields, but for others, they have to adapt and adjust to ever changing schedules that go along with shift work. These hectic shift work schedules lead to inconsistent sleep schedules, making it nearly impossible to find time to work out and lead a healthy lifestyle… One good quote that I try to stress to people is, “Most people work hard and spend their health trying to achieve wealth. Then they retire and spend their wealth trying to get back their health.”   

​Speaking from personal experience, I had to make a drastic change in my exercise and diet in order to function and perform well with my hectic and ever shifting schedule. Sacrifices had to be made and strict schedules had to be enforced. The first and probably most important thing that had to be changed was my diet. You have to have a good, healthy, balanced diet in order to succeed at any exercise goals. Doing shift work, this is not an easy task; the biggest change I made was I had to start meal prepping every week and plan what/when I was going to eat to ensure I made healthy choices and met my macros. Some people would say, “But Matt, I don’t have enough time in the day to meal prep,” when really what I hear is, “but Matt, preparing food and meal prepping ahead of time isn’t a priority for me.” A good way to plan a meal prep is to find a recipe that is easy to make and relatively quick. A good example of this is a healthy stir fry; veggies, rice, and chicken or a lean meat. This is an easy meal to make in less than half an hour and can be made in bulk and kept all week. Another example for a breakfast meal prep is just as simple as a spinach and scrambled egg sandwich on a sprouted grain bread.

​Now for the exercise and sleep part. Staying active every day can increase your quality of life and can give you a sense of control and normalcy, which the shift worker desperately needs. Routine exercise along with getting an adequate amount of sleep everyday are always a top priority of mine. I try to have at least 1 hour to work out every day and aim to sleep at least 7 hours a night. With that being said, to reach this goal, some days I must make sacrifices in other areas of my life. For example, I rarely watch television or go out with my friends on work days, and save my extracurricular activities for my off days. Shift workers work hard and sacrifice a normal schedule so that they can provide for themselves and their families. Don’t sacrifice your health for your job though, don’t let your career become an excuse to not lead a healthy lifestyle. What they found was that moderate physical training can increase the physical fitness of female shift workers, and reduces work dependent fatigue and musculoskeletal symptoms. I have a strict sleeping schedule that I enforce upon myself; for example, when I am working a day shift, I am in bed no later than 8pm and I wake up around 3:30-4am. When I am working nights, I hit the bed as soon as I get home around 4:30-5am and wake up around 12:30/1pm. I have to be strict with this in order to function and to recovery properly. I have a fit bit that tracks my sleep cycle and sleep schedule which helps me ensure I am getting enough and quality sleep. Get a regular sleep cycle and try to stick to it as best as you can. The thing that worked best for me was investing in blackout curtains, which really helps my get to sleep during night shifts especially.

                ​Your health needs to be something that becomes a priority, and that starts with adequate nutrition, sleep, and exercise that even the shift worker can achieve. Find some time every day to workout, whether it be when you wake up before work or right after you get off work. It’s not a one size fits all, everyone is going to have their own preference of when they want to work out. You just have to find what works best for you, but make it a priority to get to the gym at least 4-5 times a week. Dedicate a day, once a week, to meal prep your food. This can be a fun thing to do with your family that makes life so much easier and leads to less temptation to go out and get fast food when you’re too tired after work. Like I said, you have to find your own way and do what works best for best for you. It’s time to start prioritizing your health and wellbeing, don’t let shift work be an excuse any more.
 

 

Matthew Neid, M.S.

CF Level 1