Building and maintaining muscle mass is important but we don’t overlook the benefits that protein has on our health.
Higher protein diets have shown to improve satiety which has a positive impact on body composition therefore improved markers of health.
Breakfast is one meal that most people struggle with to get a good serving of protein in. Mostly due to the fact that most breakfast items are typically carb heavy - which is good for energy but it’s a different macro altogether and we still need protein.
Pay some attention to your breakfast, plan in a 20-30g protein serving to increase your overall daily protein intake.
It doesn’t have to be complicated - eat a high protein yoghurt after your oats or have a protein shake with some fruit if time is a challenge.
Have a chat with Caoimhe if you need any help with this!
In the words of Axl Rose, Welcome to the Jungle of Deadlift variations. Touch And Go, Dead Stop, Sumo, Deficit, Trap Bar, Mixed Grip, Pronated Grip etc the list goes on and on.
Which is better? As with most fitness questions, the answer is 'it depends'. All styles & variations have their place, each with distinct benefits and better for specific goals.
In today's class we are performing the Touch & Go style, which tends to be the default in CrossFit.
In this variation you perform consecutive reps without fully releasing the tension on the bar between each rep. Instead of coming to a complete stop on the ground, you 'tap' the weight on the floor and immediately start the next repetition. Note that I used the word 'tap', not 'bounce' or 'crash'...
Touch & Go should not mean any degradation in form however. In this variation you must learn how to get tight and stay tight throughout your sets. This technique is a great way to learn how to maintain posture whilst breathing.
Other benefits include building muscular endurance, conditioning, and efficiency in workouts with higher rep ranges.
The Dead stop variation is the natural counterpart to Touch And Go. If Touch And Go is 'Welcome to the Jungle', think of Dead Stop as being the song 'Patience'.
This is where you treat every rep as a single, from a complete stop, resetting the bar on the ground before initiating the next rep. This pause eliminates any kinetic energy or 'bounce' gained from your previous rep.
In Dead Stops you need to generate maximal tension for what tends to be the hardest part of the rep - breaking the bar off the floor. This variation is excellent for developing absolute strength.
To reach 'Paradise City' we want rock solid starting position & mechanics, regardless of the variation we are performing.
PS: Apologies for the Guns N' Roses references or should I say 'Puns N' Roses'.....
To finish off June's focus on improving aerobic capacity, we will be repeating that fun 20 minute conditioning test tomorrow. The aim is obviously to beat your 5th June score so we would recommend to have that distance in mind before you begin.
This month we are going to go a bit heavier. Our high level focus will be on what are commonly known as the 'slow lifts' ie the deadlift, press, squat & bench.
This will see a minimum of 2 'heavy' days appear in our program each week, one being traditional in nature and focused on the above 'slow lifts', with the other day in a hybrid structure involving an olympic lift derivation or similar movement variation.
So for example this week we will be deadlifting on Tuesday whilst on Friday we will pairing a heavy thruster with bar muscle ups or a similar gymnastic pulling movement.
Always keep in mind that the word 'heavy' is a relative term. As long as everyone is lifting a load relative to their own capacity, we will all see the benefits of lifting heavy i.e increased strength & power.
If performance or competition is your goal, being stronger and more powerful will carry over to every workout. Not only can you lift more absolute weight but other activities will feel easier as you will have lowered the relative intensity of each rep due to your increased strength.
For most of us though, lifting heavy is not about competing or getting 'swoll.' Consistently lifting heavy relative to your capacity is about improving our overall fitness, being able to safely perform life’s daily tasks and counteracting the estimated 3-8% loss of muscle each decade after the age of 30 which unfortunately for me, these decades are mounting up!
One thing we can all benefit from is adding more nutrients to our diets.
This week, try adding 1-2x more pieces of fruit / veg to your diet and keeping doing it as often as possible
It doesn’t have to be 100% of the time but aim for at least 80%
Power development is essential for everyone, whether your goal is to improve your performance as an athlete or to offset the age-related loss of fast twitch capability.
We introduced a new power movement today – the PVC Jump Over. These are a natural progression from the box jump. In both movements the goal of landing softly remains the same however the big differentiator is the effect of gravity.
In a box jump we minimise eccentric stress by landing on the box and not allowing the body to come down.
In the Jump Over however, the acceleration effect of gravity when landing takes its toll. This descent will greatly increase the eccentric load on your muscles and tendons thus increasing the intensity of the movement.
And to quote CrossFit ‘If you want to look better, feel better, work better, sleep better, play better — intensity will get you there.’
The Ailm symbol in our logo ( the + sign ) is from from the ancient ogham alphabet and represents strength, endurance and resilience.
This just arrived from CrossFit to recognise our 10th year as a CrossFit Affiliate.
Ten years ago we 'invested' in a budget rig, a dozen of the cheapest barbells we could find and a handful of cow mats which we called 'flooring'.
Our needs were simple: a friendly environment where we could do CrossFit, be ourselves and have a laugh. It was tough but it was fun & effective and we loved it.
We had no idea that 10 years later we would have expanded into a bigger location, coached over 3000 clients, accumulated over 15000 hours of coaching and still be working with a community of the friendliest, supportive, most down to earth people you could find.
Our members regularly share stories of how much CrossFit Anam has changed their lives both in and outside the gym but it has been an amazing & rewarding journey for us too.
Thank you to all our past and present members, coaches and staff who have supported us over the last 10 years.
Here's to the next 10.
"I joined CFA 9 months ago to improve my health, strength and shape after too many years away from training. I’d always wanted to try CrossFit and was completely sold after meeting with Coach Cathy for an intro session.
The three things that really keep me consistent and coming back for more are the coaches, the gym community and the variety of training.
The coaches really care about seeing you get the best out of the workouts and are always ready with guidance and support to help you improve.
The gym community has been very welcoming from the beginning. Everyone is so supportive of each other and help to celebrate each other's progress.
Workouts can be anything from strength training to gymnastic skills to cardio and they are always different. It keeps things interesting and there is always something to improve on. I’d definitely recommend CFA to anyone looking to get fit, stay motivated and meet an awesome group of people!"
Brilliant Kirsty keep at it!
"I Initially joined CrossFit Anam as I wanted to try something different from training on my own. And I love it!
I would say there are a few reasons that keep me motivated and make me want to stick at it. Firstly, the workouts are challenging but enjoyable, you really want to push yourself!
The coaches are all so knowledgeable and more than happy to take the time to give you tips on how to tweak a movement to get better at it.
And actually having the opportunity to socialise with the friends I’ve made at CFA definitely makes it more enjoyable. The community spirit really helps to get you through a tough workout!"
Thank you Janine!! Keep at it!
A few weekends ago, Cathy successfully completed her CrossFit Level 2 coaching Certificate.
As we all know, Coach Cathy has a hectic lifestyle. Between coaching CrossFit & Sweat45, managing operations at CFA and playing football, it was genuinely a miracle she managed to find a free weekend in her schedule to complete this course. She even had to travel to Manchester for it!
But like the rest of our coaches, Cathy wants to refine her coaching skills and with her recent Level 2 qualification, she now has a deeper understanding of CrossFit, its methodology and its practical application as a trainer.
We look forward to seeing Cathy continuing to develop her coaching here at CFA and adding a few more notches to her belt!
Wonder where she will go to sit her Level 3?
Running is one of the most common movements we see people avoiding when it comes up on our programming.
And generally we hear the words “I don’t like running” or “I’m not very good at it” so instead we see our running days a bit quieter than say our burpee days - truth.
Anyway, obviously we understand completely that’s it hard to endure something you don’t necessarily feel strong doing or even enjoy doing, because you feel it’s a weakness.
We know that over-pacing can often throw a spanner in the works and we tend to see people hitting a threshold in which they find a challenge to sustain.
However, just like anything within our programming, we can scale back and build our engine through consistent exposure to running. We can reduce the distance and build aerobic capacity to then build intensity.
The more we practice something the quicker our bodies will adapt and get better.
The good news? Coming to class and being surrounded by people who are doing the same thing will make it an easier challenge to overcome.
Having said all that, of course there will be occasions when running isn't advised, depending on someone's physical ability at that time.
So don't worry, there will always be alternatives available to anyone and everyone.