A Beginner Movement

A read an article the other day that really has me thinking. Of course, I can’t remember the title, nor have I been able to find it again. But summarizing it will be no problem! This article was questioning how the muscle up came to be the “ultimate” in crossfit movements.

I can see you scrunching your face right now because this blog is called Scaled to Perfection and the title of this post is A Beginner Movement and neither of these titles go with the move crossfitters know as the muscle up.  (If you don’t know what a muscle up is watch Camille Leblanc-Bazinet demonstrate ).

This article claimed that in the gymnastics world, the muscle up was actually a beginner movement and that basically any gymnast worth their salt could do one with ease. I’m not at all involved in the world of gymnastics and my only “experience” with this sport is via The Olympics, which doesn’t seem to be very representative of any sport since you have to be the best of the best to be there. However, I went back and watched several videos of Olympic gymnasts on YouTube and I would say that for bars and rings, the muscle up certainly does form a foundation of many of the movements, so perhaps there is some truth to this article after all. At least for some forms of gymnastics this might be true. I am well aware there are many other events in the sport that have nothing to do with the muscle up, or any of its variations. I’m also well aware that an athlete, such as Simone Biles, who looked so incredible in her floor routines this past summer probably more than has the strength and coordination to do a muscle up with ease, but her floor routines would have her working on other movements (probably).

But it got me thinking about the movement and why that particular move is so coveted. In my opinion, it boils down to just a few things.

1. Crossfitters are not the best at any one particular type of movement; they strive to be good at ALL movements. A marathon runner will probably out-run a crossfitter in a marathon. An Olympic lifter should be able to lift more in those particular lifts than a crossfitter. But the crossfitter trains to be good at both things, cardio AND strength.

2. The muscle up combines strength, body control, rhythm, coordination and cardio and thus seems to hit many of the things that crossfit is all about.

3. To those of us that are simply ‘normal’ people (not professional athletes, not Games athletes, not folks who are able to spend hours per day in the gym and/or box), the move requires so much that it is something to strive for.

4. Those that can do this move (whether you consider it a basic gymnastics move or the ultimate crossfit move) make it look oh so very easy.

So I will still lust after this ‘beginner’ move. I don’t come from a gymnastics background (I was a soccer keeper in high school and college – you can throw your body around with little grace); I don’t have the strength to do a pull-up; I still weigh well more than I should. But I will keep this little movement on my bucket list. In the meantime, I remain Scaled to Perfection and I’m okay with this.

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WHYNBTYW

Ah, good old WHYNBTYW when we have to rack our brains thinking of products that we love or things we have tried that we can’t live without.  So this week, I’m going to talk a little bit about my obsession with Plated (https://www.plated.com/).  I started ordering from Plated when my Dad got me a gift certificate for Christmas 2014 and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I thought I would only use Plated while we transitioned from a family of 2 to a family of 3 but that was over a year and a half ago and I’m still getting my Plated subscription on a weekly basis.

My husband and I subscribe to the 2 meals/week plan.  It costs about $50/week but when you add up how much you would pay for all of the ingredients for the recipes, you certainly make up the cost.  When we meal plan, we include our 2 Plated meals as a dinner for 2 days (generally Tuesdays and Thursdays).  Honestly, sometimes the portions are so generous that I split mine into dinner one day and lunch the next (it just depends on what you order).

When you’re choosing your weekly selections, Plated offers low-calorie, stove-top only, and vegetarian options.

Overall, I’m completely hooked on Plated and I love the service and the customer service is really super (if you ever find yourself without an ingredient they really do a great job helping you out).

If you want to try out a completely free week of Plated, leave your email in the comments and I’ll send you an invite which is good for a free week of Plated meals (3 meals).

Bon appetit!

Plated’s Chicken Peanut Curry with bean sprouts and spinach (yum!)

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Weight Loss Solution

So I found the secret to rapid weight loss! You know all those commercials that start after the holidays promising you will lose 15 pounds in the first week? You can ignore those! The solution to rapid weight loss is to get sick! Then you can’t eat, barely drink enough water to sustain life and the weight simply drops right off!!

Ive had more than enough of this virus, however ….

Embrace the Scaler

When a partner WOD is announced, I would say that I generally try to find someone that lifts about the same amount of weight I can or is at or around the same fitness level as I am.  I am here to say that this is crap and we should all reconsider how we choose partners (at least every once in awhile).

There are advantages for each side of the aisle:  An RX athlete may find the opportunity to focus on form and fundamentals when working with a Scaled athlete.  Working at a lighter weight or slightly slower pace allows the time and ability to focus on those minute movements that make all the difference during a WOD.  For a Scaled athlete, working with an RX athlete may provide the opportunity to work a little bit heavier than you normally would, maybe work a little faster with a little more motivation, and may also offer learning opportunities and tips to work towards achieving some movements.

So, I definitely recommend branching out.  Go outside of your comfort zone…be willing to push yourself but also be willing to slow down and take a moment to return to those essential fundamentals…you may not PR that day but that time to practice will pay off in the future.

WHYNBTYW

For today’s Why Have You Not Bought This Yet Wednesday, I’m going to give you permission to indulge in something that seems to become an addiction for those of us that fall in love with crossfit and working out. T-shirts!

So what do you need? You need to get that T or tank you spotted online and just get it!

There are many amusing shirts out there with phrases we love to say, double entendres, goofy workout things and pictures of our favorite workout equipment.

if you are anything like us, you have many of these already. If you are just getting started, you might be wondering if you really need that shirt. YOU DO!! Seriously, if it makes you feel like a bad-a$$, get it! We women have enough issues working out already; self-confidence and body image issues. If a $20 shirt (or shorts, leggings whatever) helps you feel like a bad-a$$, even if for an hour, get it. Don’t deprive yourself of the change to feel fantastic, at least at the beginning of the WOD!!

 

What is Special About Our Box?

So I was privileged enough to watch the vast majority of our coaches competing in various levels at Wodapalooza this past weekend in Miami. Another one of our coaches was there with her phone so we could all watch through Facebook Live (about the best use of FB Live, IMHO) and finally, the coach of their second box subbed during our 5am sessions. So the entire coaching community came together to make this all happen. This got me thinking about all the things I love about our particular box and I would bet that those of you who love your boxes have these same things happening!

I love that each coach knows the athletes and pushes in their own different way. Coach Janine is the “toughest” of them all in the sense of pushing us well beyond what we might do for ourselves. She knows exactly how much each of us can lift. Not that I’m a double under master (I have managed 19 in a row – sign me up for an Rx competition…), but I wouldn’t have them at all if not for her. I was quite content doing one double and one single, but not on Janine’s watch! She said give it a go and so I had to. And I did it!

Coach JP is so calm and steadfast in his ability to impart his confidence into the athletes. He will spot you if you need it, suggest weights if you ask, and even in the middle of a WOD come over and stop you to make suggestions on how you can improve your form, your time, your technique, your whatever. There will be no bad form on his watch and he’s so calm, cool and collected that you simply believe that you can do anything! Plus, if you ask a geeky question on their FB page, he will happily give you a geeky answer!

Coach Sam isn’t around as often; she does a lot of the personal training and the marketing for both boxes and I’m sure that keeps her very busy. When she does come in to coach, she’s very vocal about your abilities, the fact that a lot of these moves simply don’t come naturally and they take time and practice. She has the loudest voice during the WODs and will cheer you on until she’s hoarse. She’s the biggest cheerleader there and she’s always ready with a celebratory hug, sticker and photo-op!

Coach Christy is fairly new and I’ve not had the chance to work with her as often as the others, since she generally coaches the later morning classes. BUT, I have worked with her enough and have watched her “come up through the ranks” from overweight mom, to fit mom, to Coach Christy (all around bad-a$$) and she is somehow a combination of all three. She will “make” you lift heavier than you want; she drips confidence out of every pore. I swear she is more confident in my abilities than I am! She’s the first to try something challenging and her voice can be heard throughout the WOD, even over the loudest music. She’s quick with the high-fives and the stickers and the phone pics and I’m fairly certain she’s the marketing genius behind many of the things that are happening online with this small box.

Coach Hannah is the newest to me because she generally coaches at their second location. But I’ve had the pleasure of being coached by her a few times now and she’s full of quiet smiles and encouragement. She’s managed to learn a lot of names (impressive since she’s only in our box a few times), walks around pushing us to keep moving through the tough WODs and never seems to stop smiling at everything that happens. Trip over a box? She’s still smiling all through her checking up to make sure you are okay. Struggling to breathe through 100 billion burpees (anything over 5 might as well be a billion)? She’s there, smiling, encouraging and clapping you on. It’s been a real treat to have her there the past few days!

I love how I started 2.5+ years ago simply wanting to do something different with my workouts (my home workouts were becoming stale) and found a community of folks, many of whom have become dear friends and we do things outside the box now! I actually have friends in this town (I did have friends before, but they all moved out of the town, so I spent a couple of very lonely years here)!

I love the Diaper WODs, fund-raisers and other community events they sponsor. I love how no matter who finishes last, there is always a group of folks willing to stick around to cheer, encourage and even help by doing extra work.

I love how the coaches live crossfit by making sure we are all safe, scaled as necessary, provide Rx+ options for those that need more, can make the moves harder or scaled and not only coach, but are incredible athletes in their own right. I believe that JP placed 4th in the Rx Men’s, Team DCF was 3rd in the Intermediate Team Women’s and Janine and her team, Beefy Butt Stuff, was 18th in the Elite Team Women’s divisions at Wodapalooza. Do you know who competes at these things? Games athletes, that’s who. So my bad-a$$ coaches are competing with the best of the best.

I’ve said it before and I will continue to believe this. The best athletes don’t always make the best coaches. To coach and to coach well, you have to get to know people. Learn their fears, their skills, their weaknesses and their strengths. You have to learn if they are there simply to get a good workout in, are there to really try to get better, or are there to become great athletes themselves. You have to learn not only how to teach the moves, but to teach them differently to different people when necessary, to say the same thing a zillion different ways. You need the ability to calm frustrations, celebrate achievements and gently coax people out of their comfort zones. Interestingly enough, our coaches are all not only fantastic athletes, but amazing coaches. I couldn’t have asked for more in a crossfit box.

WHYNBTYW

It’s a miracle! I’m writing about a product on Wed, just as we originally planned! Go me.

I got my WODBOM box for January the other day (side note: the best email in the world is from the company saying my box has shipped). Inside were many things including: a throwback hoodie, protein bar, hand protection and more Bite Fuel protein granola.

This is the second time I’ve gotten this product in my box and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! It’s a good mix of carbs, fats and protein and it also tastes good. The flavor that was included this month was Pina Colada, which I admit I was nervous about, since I think coconut is “icky”. But I opened it, tried it and immediately fell in love! The coconut isn’t overpowering at all. It basically tastes like yummy granola without all the nasty stuff like preservatives, sugars etc that can often be found in the ones that come in boxes on the grocery shelves.

Now a serving size isn’t very large (1/2 cup), but it’s enough to give you a decent snack between meals and there is 12g of protein per serving. This may not seem like a lot, but the brand we’ve purchased at the store has 2.9g, so that is considerably more. In defense of this particular company, they also make a protein granola bar that has 10g of protein and is “only 190 calories”, so it is possible to get more protein in a bar off the shelf.

I, personally, am not concerned with no-GMO, gluten-free etc, but there are a lot of folks out there who are very concerned with such things and the Bite Fuel products are all whey based (no soy), gluten-free, no GMO, no trans-fat, no preservatives and no cholesterol.

I will admit that I prefer foods with ingredients I can pronounce and the Bite Fuel fits that bill. My bag has the following: oats, coconut, whey protein concentrate, brown sugar, coconut, almonds, coconut oil, dried pineapple, vanilla extract, pecans, salt and cinnamon. The other product contains a lot of “real” ingredients too, but also soy protein isolate, corn syrup, fructose, vegetable glycerin, soy lecithin and natural flavors. I’m not a food scientist, but whenever I see vague terms on an ingredient list, I get nervous. What, exactly, are natural flavors and why can’t they just be listed?

I’m not trying to bash another company’s product. I’ve eaten a lot of those particular granola bars and they are quite yummy. I have found them to be a great snack and easy to toss into a kid’s lunch box and I know it’s something my kids will eat. Plus, they are also very easy to send to various sporting events as they are all individually wrapped (if you don’t have kids, all foods these days must be individually wrapped…). Plus, if you are money conscious (who isn’t), for the boxed product you can get 10 servings for $6 vs the 5.5 servings (seriously?!) of the Bite Fuel for 13.99. That can be a large difference.

For me, I love the Bite Fuel stuff though and will continue to buy it, even if it costs more. I like the ingredients listing better, I love that it is more of a meal at 270 calories and since I track my macros daily, I can add a bit to my protein without really compromising my carbs or fat macros. It also seems like an easy thing to toss into a bag for competition day where you need something that’s quick, easy, won’t fill you too much and will keep you going.

If you are interested in more information, please go to their website! Oh their protein cookies are pretty amazing too. Those showed up in a box earlier in my subscription and what a great treat!!