Tuesday, August 14, 2012

CrossFit Tips for Newbies

I thought this was a great article, and on FitSugar of all places! CrossFit is really becoming mainstream. Yesterday it was Shape, today it's FitSugar. Wowza.



(This is my current desk top image, FYI.)

If you guys don't know who Annie is, we call her Iceland Annie, she's been crowned the Fittest Woman on Earth (the winner of the CrossFit Games) for the last two years in a row. We've never had a consecutive winner before, so this really attests to her athleticism.

She has three simple, but often overlooked, tips to offer beginners of the sport.


Just try it: One of CrossFit's greatest strengths, says Annie, is the fact that it encompasses many different types of exercise. "It's so diverse," Annie says. She started CrossFit through running and deadlifts, gradually working her way up to more difficult aspects of the workout, like muscle-ups (done on gymnastics rings). "Try it out, and even though you get really sore after your first training session, that does not mean that you have to give up," Annie says. "Give it at least one or two weeks and then the soreness will go away and it will start being really fun. You can measure everything and see how you're getting better; it's so much different than going to the gym by yourself."

Take it slow: You may be inspired by all the chiseled men and women you see in CrossFit campaigns, but the fact is that you need to perfect your form before you actually ramp up your workout. "It's really important that you're keeping good form in everything that you do," Annie advises. "That's what me and my coaches have been working on a lot for the past years: making sure that nothing I do is unsafe. If you get injuries, you're not going to want to train anymore. It was kind of hard for me because I always go full out every single training session, but it was definitely good to take it one step backwards and focus on doing things perfectly; then it was so much easier to build on it, and I got further than I thought I could. That's definitely the way to go; always think about listening to your body."

Learn it, use it: Think of CrossFit as functional fitness, Annie says. Once you learn how to pick up a heavy weight, you can use the same technique to prevent injury in your daily life. "You see people that have a problem picking their kids up or putting their stuff in the overhead compartments on the airplanes, and you want to be able to do those things [correctly]," Annie explains. "You learn to do those things in the gym by doing CrossFit."

Fuel right: Unlike many CrossFit enthusiasts, Annie doesn't follow the Paleo or Zone diets, but she has spent a lot of time finding a healthful eating plan that keeps her energized throughout her oft-grueling workouts. "I try to eat as clean as possible and pick the right stuff [at] the store. I eat a lot of dairy because we have a lot of good dairy in Iceland," says Annie, who recommends Skyr, a high-protein, low-sugar strained yogurt from Iceland that she calls "even better than Greek yogurt."

I can't believe the two fittest men and women on earth are not Paleo or Zone. Makes me want to go bury my face in a bowl of Fage and peanut butter! And I have to find this Skyr stuff. Whole Foods, you think?

21 comments:

  1. I have been talking to a friend about transitioning into a paleo diet, but I LURVE me some chobani - the plain kind w/ blueberries & raspberries. so good!

    I eat chobani & cottage cheese as snacks during my day. Obviously those aren't paleo approved - any snacks you recommend? I have an office to myself, with a fridge, so i don't have to many limitations as to what I can bring.

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    1. This is a whole post in itself ... :)

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    2. I'll be waiting......patiently ;-)

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  2. I eat Paleo now but I can say that Skyr is AMAZING and writing this makes me miss it! Then again all fresh European yogurt trumps the crap we sell here, makes me miss living in Europe. You can find Skyr at all of the Atlanta Whole Foods. Congrats on the internship by the way!

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    1. Thanks! Couldn't find Skyr at WF on Ponce, but did find Siggi and it's amazing!

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  3. Great post and thank you for the info. I eat very clean most of the time but i don't eat too many carbs. i eat a lot of quinoa with my meals since its good for you and a complete protein. I been eating Fage with almond butter and casein protein evening snack. It's so good!

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    1. If you like Fage, you'll love Skyr and Siggi - find them if you can!

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    2. HI Cutie! Im going to whole foods this weekend to see if they have those brands and thanks.

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  4. oh now I;m more curious about how Rich eats as well... any idea on that?

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    1. I haven't come across anything specifically, but I do know they eat a lot. I was watching a video kind of "a day in the life of rich" on the CF journal, and they were talking about huge pasta dinner they had the night before, pizza for lunch ...

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  5. omg. the skyr has ridiculous amounts of protein and is delicious. i used to eat tons of yogurt. it's definitely at whole foods and can be found at lots of other grocery stores. we have it at sprouts here in phoenix, but also at places like albertsons. who knew!

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  6. Good to know!!! I'm curious to try the skyr!! Let's see who can find it!! :)

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    1. Couldn't find Skyr, but did find Siggi, and it's amazing! 4g of sugar and 15g of protein, even creamier than Fage.

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  7. My dad's whole family is from Iceland and skyr is ALL my Amma (icelandic for grandma) keeps in her fridge. I'm not a huge fan but I am also not a huge greek yogurt fan either. We have it here at Hannafords in NY near the organic stuff. Also their is Siggi yogurt which is from Iceland as well.

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    1. I found Siggi today at Whole Foods (but not Skyr) and it is AMAZING. Better than the plain Fage I adore ... And only 4g of sugar and 15g of protein! No wonder Annie is such a beast!

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  8. Good post! I go to gym full of diverse people who never would have tried it had it not been the only gym in town. We have grandmothers and VERY heavy people learning to control their bodies and things like diabetes and high blood pressure. The transformations and fountain of youth Crossfit has provided many people in my small town is staggering.

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  9. I love Fage so I definitely want to try out the Siggi you found. I loved watching the Crossfit games and see how freakin strong those girls are, (and guys)! I definitely hope to try Crossfit once my husband and I get settled in one state!

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  10. Hey sounds amazing... Some good tips you have provided...

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  11. Annie rocks!! Can't believe she doesn't do Paleo! I'm still about 90% Paleo, with my cheats being greek yogurt and PB2/peanut butter.:) BTW, so glad you're settling in to the ATL area and kudos on the rockin' internship! CF Midtown is not too far from my box, if you are ever curious to try out another one! I am kinda obsessed with CF now, and I blame you! :)

    Also, Urban Pl8 is the s***!!! Paleo margaritas, um, yes. Another great one is Local Three, they have Paleo Mondays.

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  12. This is a good post. This post gives truly quality information. I’m definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. Thank you so much. Keep up the good works. My Games

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  13. Finding the right weights and reps and starting out as a Crossfit beginner isn’t so easy. You need to follow some instructions to get the best results.

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