The 4 Horsemen will usher in a new age of fitness. The traditional versions of Conquest, War, Famine and Death are represented in our focus on Goals, Competition, Nutrition and Metabolic-conditioning. We firmly believe that strength, power and fitness are best achieved by utilizing CrossFit methods and the 4 Horsemen of Lifts: Squats, Presses, Deadlifts and O-lifts.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Monzi The Machine!

Hard work and good eating goes along way. Monika has been training consistently 3 on/1 off in the garage for sometime now and it is showing. Today she hit a new PR on deadlift with 200lbs! That is a 40 pound improvement since the last Crossfit Total in March! Since then she has only deadlifted once during a met-con. She is continually getting better in every aspect and there is only room for improvement in the future! Keep it up Monzi!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Post Workout Feeding!

Eating post workout is possibly the funnest and most important times to eat. During this time we can get away with certain foods that otherwise may not be the best choices. As we discussed in our article with the 4 hot babes in bikinis, to burn fat your diet must manage insulin. Bottom line.

Usually we try to stay away from carbohydrate sources that rate high on the glycemic index scale, but during the post workout window we actually want to consume these foods. During exercise and shortly after our cells have the ability to absorb glucose from the bloodstream without the need of insulin. This is a state called "non-insulin mediated glucose uptake." This is key for quick recovery and also protects you from messing up your insulin sensitivity. This state rapidly slows down after exercise and is completely shut off after about an hour.

By no means is this a free for all to consume crap like cookies, pasta, ice cream etc. The best carbohydrate sources are starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes being my favourite). A quality protein source is also essential for muscle repair. Go with a lean cut of meat, fish is possibly the best source in this instance. Try to avoid foods that contain fat and fiber as they slow absorption. As I said before you want to digest the food as fast as possible pwo as this "state" is completely shut off after an hour.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A visit to Crossfit Scotland

At the beginning of March I had the opportunity to visit my cousin Eryn and rest of the McFee clan in my motherland of Scotland. After hitting the big cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, and a whiskey tour/tasting, I was in need for a major ass whooping. Fortunately, only 15 min from the McFee's house in the neighbouring town of Irvine (Ayrshire) is Crossfit Scotland. I called them up the day before, to ask if I could join the noon class for the WOD. I got there about 30 min early excited to hit the workout hard. I had been in Italy for the entire month of February limited to bodyweight only workouts (I was also on a gelato heavy diet and about 10lbs heavier than normal - definitely needed some intense CFit). As soon as I walked in the door I was treated like family, this is truely the best part about the whole Crossfit community, every box/gym I have had the priviledge to workout at has been very welcoming, and friendly but CFit Scotland takes the cake. My cousin Eryn accompanied me and although she wasn't there to workout the head trainer Neil Foley (a CFIT level 2 trainer) made sure she had a good seat to view my butt kicking and a warm cup of coffee. Neil gave me the tour of his box, explained to me their approach to CFit, the ups and downs of doing CFit in Scotland ie. it rains all the time and then he discussed the WOD with me. I told him I wanted a real ass kick so he let me go "super" heavy for the Overhead Squats (OHS). The WOD was 400m row 21 pullups, 15 OHS (135# for me 95# for the others), 9 boxjumps, 800m row, 21 OHS, 15 boxjumps, 9pullups, 400m row, 21 boxjumps, 15 pullups, 9 OHS. I was expecting the OHS to be hard and they were but what got me was the pullups. Now I do kipping pullups pretty well but I have never done them on swinging pullup bars (trapez style), they were so difficult to connect on they almost crushed me on their own. As you can see from the pic I finished (a little of 20min later) absolutely destroyed leaving a nice big sweat angel behind. My trip to Crossfit Scotland was an amazing experience and Neil being such a nice guy wouldn't even let me pay for my workout, now I couldn't leave without contributing so I bought a shirt off them, which is hanging in the garage as a reminder of my great time there.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Real Foods Take On Fake Foods

Helen-Mess You Up!
Just wanted to share a great post from Scott Kustes at The Life Spotlight on Real Foods vs. Fake Foods . It is actually pretty crazy that some people think that food made in a lab is better for you then natural foods?? How does that even make sense?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Insulin Resistant Hotties!!

Is this seriously the outcome of eating too much and sitting on your ass all day? I mean if all you had to do was eat a little less and walk around a bit more don't you think it would be alot easier to lose weight?? You hear it all the time in the media, " choose the low-fat option" or " 30 min of moderate exercise could burn up to -insert bullshit number here- calories, that's 1 pound of fat loss a week!" Blame it on the fat and laziness all you want but it's just not the case. If fat was making us fat and was the major player in disease how do you explain the traditional Inuit diet consisting of 70% fat with no obesity, diabetes, heart disease or any other diseases associated with the metabolic syndrome?

If energy in/energy out was all that mattered then why would someone like Robb Wolf suggest that without a proper diet you will not see changes in body composition from exercise. You will get fitter, but you will not see any change in body composition. He's not just throwing this out there either, he sees it in clients all the time.

Obesity is caused by excessive fat accumulation, agreed? What must be present to promote fat accumulation? Insulin! Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that lowers blood sugar and promotes fat accumulation in the adipose tissue. Without insulin you will not store fat long term! Carbohydrates are the main culprit in the secretion of insulin. Interesting how the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemic can be traced back to the increase in sugar consumption?

The problem with eating a diet high in carbohydrates (especially refined) is the impact it has on insulin levels, and the impact insulin has on the mobilization/accumulation of fatty acids in and out of the adipose tissue as fuel. When insulin levels are elevated-either chronically or after a meal-we accumulate fat in our fat tissue. When insulin levels fall, we release fat from our fat tissue and use it as fuel.

The real trouble comes when trying to lose weight with insulin levels that are chronically elevated, a condition called hyperinsulinemia. Chronic hyperinsulinemia (elevated insulin in between meals, not just from a meal rich in carbs) causes the body to believe it has been fed. We believe we have just been fed glucose with the presence of insulin in the bloodstream. Insulin constantly primes the cells to burn glucose, and only glucose will satisfy that demand. Because of this "primed" state our cells are in for glucose as fuel, it is glucose we crave. In this state even if we eat protein or fat the hyperinsulinemia will work to store those nutrients as fat, and won't let them out. So have fun burning fat when you don't have access to it.

We eat because we are obese, we aren't obese because we eat. Whether insulin levels are chronically elevated or elevated from a meal high in carbohydrates (pasta, bread, cookies, cereal), promoting accumulation of fat is blocking an available metabolic fuel by storing it instead of using it. In between meals cells should predominantly run off fatty acids but high levels of insulin won't allow this. Blocking of this metabolic fuel from the cells causes us to expend less energy (sedentary behaviour) and increases our appetite to compensate. This is also a critical factor in women who have fertility issues. It's not the obesity causing it, its the lack of metabolic fuels to not only support cells in her body but in reproduction. The first thing they put her on? Glucophage, an insulin regulator.

The solution to all of this would seem to be a diet that regulates insulin in itself (low-carb). Problem is the public health recommendations are the total opposite. Most nutritionists recommend a diet that includes 120 to 130 grams of carbohydrates at minimum, because this is the amount of glucose the brain and central nervous system use to operate. The truth is the brain does not require this. Without carbohydrates in the diet the brain and central nervous system will run on ketone bodies; converted from dietary fat and from fatty acids released from the fat tissue; on glycerol, from the breakdown of triglycerides into free fatty acids; and on glucose, converted from protein in the diet. If carbohydrates were essential for life our existence would have been over along time ago.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Meat Locker

Getting a "quality" protein source at every meal is essential for optimal performance. This can be especially troubling if your following paleo guidelines. Without the cheese, milk and protein powder to fall back on your left with...well real food, meat, eggs & more meat!

It is actually not that hard to do if you put your mind to it. A dozen eggs at No Frills goes for $1.97, hard boil those and your set for some snacks. Also you need to keep your eyes out for deals on meat like I do. Whenever you walk into your grocery store grab the flyer and take a look through it, there is always some cut of meat going for cheap. No frills just had chicken breast on for $2.99 a pound! That's crazy! Also remember the more you buy the cheaper you will get it.

I always buy whole chickens from loblaw (usually no more then $11.00, 1.7kg) , cut it up, put it into a Tupperware container and feed off it when I need that quick meal.

Bottom line, don't get stuck with the same cuts of meat everytime you walk into the grocery store, expand your choices for your own sake and your wallets.

Keys to success

  • look out for deals
  • shop at more then one grocery store
  • buy meat in bulk
  • then cook that meat in bulk
  • don't be a pussy
  • stop eating the same boring meat over and over
  • beans are not protein

*Note: this post was seriously rushed because Sean needed something new to read immediately