Category

Nutrition

Nutrition, sleep and getting back to the gym  

Juan , one of our  Senior  CrossFit and nutrition(PN1) Coaches gives you some useful tips and hints

Nutrition Coach PN1

1: Sleep is the big mama when it comes to recovery, we all are very excited about getting our lives back and finally getting back to the gyms…but remember to try to not overdo it, give your body the time to recover, and adapt to training. Getting 7 to 9  hours a day of sleep is crucial for adaptation.

2 Responsible nutrition, after a year of lockdown and not being regular with our training you might have gained a few pounds…and that is ok. Just remember that our body needs nutrients to recover and adapt from training. Need help with that? Get in touch with Juan

3 Enjoy the process and listen to your body, at the beginning you probably don’t need more than 3 sessions a week remember that your body needs time to recover and adapt, respect any niggles that you might have. And remember we are here to help you with that process.

If you want to train with us at CrossFit London, get in contact

Cape Town Cooking Club

There’s a new breakfast spot in town, right on our very own doorstep In Crossfit London! We can’t wait to have you back, training and brunching.

In the meantime, check out the menu for The Cape Town Cooking Club on Deliveroo!

Imagine how lovely a  smashed avo on your choice of rinkoff bakery toast with paprika pumpkin seeds, chilli flakes and fresh sprouts would be !

Get it here

You can’t go wrong with the challah protein French toast drizzled in Canadian maple, fresh berries, and mascarpone! Not actually made in heaven, but at Crossfit London!

Delicious! it just makes you want to  eat healthily

Get some now

Get it here

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and Minerals play an essential role in all metabolic processes such as digestion, repair, energy transfer, immunity, and nervous system function. If we don’t get enough of it we simply won’t function properly.
When it comes to supplementation, bear in mind that no amount of supplements will fix a bad diet.
Before we dive into what supplements to take we need to aim to get all our nutrients from our food.
However, because of dietary restrictions, time of the year, or simply because of the quantities we need, getting it from food can be difficult.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Why?
Lower inflammation
Increase insulin sensitivity
Keep our cell membranes more fluid (neurochemical messages can be transmitted more easily because of this).
How?
Try to include at least 2 portions of fish per week, or 140g of oily fish a week.
Sources: fish, seafood, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
Vitamin D
Why?
It helps to maintain serum calcium levels
It’s involved in Immune system function and regulating glucose tolerance
How?
From late March to September a 15 to 30-minute walk outside should do.
Between October and early March, supplementation is advised – 10 mcg a day should do.
Sources: Natural sunlight allows your body to create Vitamin D, so we don’t need to get it from food however mushrooms, shrimp and beef live are good sources.
Note: Glass blocks UBV preventing the production of Vitamin D, so you need to get it directly from sunlight (exactly like Superman 🦸🏻‍♂️)
Magnesium
Why?
Helps Carbs and Fat metabolism.
Active transportation of Ions across cell membranes.
Cell migration and wound healing.
Magnesium also has a relaxing effect that helps with anxiety and sleep
How?
It comes from our food.
We need around 300mg for men or 270mg for women as an adult.
Sources: Dark leafy greens, beans, legumes, Dark Chocolate, quinoa.
Vitamin B12
Why?
It helps maintain healthy nerve and blood cells and DNA synthesis.
How?
B12 comes only from animal products, plant eaters might need to supplement. You need 1.5mcg a day as an adult.
Sources: fish, meat and dairy products.

5 Nutrition Principles

5 Nutrition Principles
When it comes to nutrition there are a lot of different methods:
Low-fat, Low-carb, paleo, Keto, Intermittent fasting, High Fat, Carnivore, Vegetarians, just to name a few…
Confusing right?

But the reality is that we can all achieve our nutrition goals and be healthy all year round by following a few nutrition principles.
Understanding that a principle is a fundamental truth and that those principles can apply to all of us to a certain degree.
1: Calories in Calories out
If you eat more calories than you need you gain weight.
If you eat fewer calories than you need, you lose weight…simple!
2: The quality of the food you eat will directly determine your health.
3: The total amount of macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbs), that you eat in relation to your genetics and other factors (sleep, training, hydration…), will determine your results e.g. your body composition (fat loss, weight loss, muscle gain).
4: Process foods
These foods are normally high in calorie density and usually extremely palatable which means is very easy to overeat and increasing your calorie intake. Alongside this their micronutrient content which is the vitamins and minerals within the food is very poor. Trying to avoid too many of these is going to improve your health immensely.
5: Think years not weeks
One of the first things to consider when choosing a nutrition program is its

sustainability…Can you stick to it for a long period of time? It needs to be sustainable otherwise the chances that you can do it over a long period of time a very slim and you may slip back into a poorer diet.

Remember constancy is key and what is right for someone else isn’t always right for you.

800 gram Challenge

Fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Fibre for a healthy guy = happy and healthier you.

The power of the nutrients can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.

Even though we know the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, 72% of the UK population don’t meet the NHS daily recommended portion of fruits and vegetables. Let’s change that!

We at CFLDN have decided to give fruit and vegetables a little nudge into the spotlight.

Lead by our Nutrition coach,  Juan @juanthecoach and inspired by the 800gmschallenge created by EC Synkowsky, we are going to start a 12 day nutrition challenge where there are no restrictions, no food is off limits, the only thing you need to do is add 800gms of fruit and vegetables to your daily intake.

This challenge is free to do and if you know someone that can benefit from this please tag us.

Kick off will be the 1st of February, don’t worry if you don’t have a scale you can still take part in this. Get in touch with Juan juan@crossfitlondonuk.com for any Q’s.

Grab that wonky potato or wobbly carrot and join us in promoting a plant revolution!

When it comes to nutrition and healthy eating or your relationship with food, Crossfit London has your back

Stress

How you manage stress is crucial.

If you ignore it and continue to eat rubbish, blot out your pain by booze, and continue to do “stupid stuff” (just for another hit of adrenaline), eventually it will drag you down.

Most chronic conditions have a stress connection. Stress rips relationships apart!

For now start thinking about what are the good things you can do to relieve stress, and what are the things that make your stress even worse.

Here is a handy infographic to nudge you along

If you want help managing your stress, see what we can do at Crossfit London to help you. Why not  get in contact

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Emotions and Food.

Every year some people attend a few food-based education sessions, sign up for a few exercise classes, turn over a new leaf, and voila a few months later they are at a healthy target weight. According to the obesity statistics, about 50% of the population are able to maintain a healthy weight, and a physique they are  (presumably) comfortable with, without ever seeing a trainer or a weight loss expert. Some people so it seems,  have a natural gift to maintain a balance between food and activity.

For others, this balance is an impossibility. Seemingly simple healthy eating rules are to some, a stress-inducing nightmare.  Sometimes emotions can be controlled for a short-term celebrity diet. For many, this denial results in unwanted weight gain!

To be utterly clear, about 50% of the population needs no emotional food or eating support what so ever.    If you simply need some hints on the mechanics, there is  lots of weight-loss advice out there, from weighing to calorie counting.  The mechanics that successful weight managers use are here. . If you want  support in working out your macros, it’s here at our nutrition service

These methods and hints work brilliantly as long as you haven’t made an emotional connection with food.

If you have an emotional connection, the science says that methods like calorie counting will send your stress levels through the roof.

The moment you see food as a reward, a comforter, a stress reliever or central to family life,  most unsupported attempts to control how what, or when you eat will magnify the stress you feel. In many cases, your current relationship with food is the only thing that keeps you together.

Thankfully in between the numerous: “It’s the food stupid” diets, there have been great strides taken to understand some people underlying emotion/food issues.

The conclusions are clear. Until you work out how to change your body image,  recognise and properly deal with your emotions, acclimatise to change and normalise your eating,  food will continue to dominate, rule, and ruin your life. To help we will now be running a monthly free 5-day “food and emotions challenge” Hopefully with a better, snappier, name (but no promises)!

Over the 5 days, you take part in some interesting behavior and mindset challenges and join in thought-provoking online discussions ( possibly by zoom, more likely to be in the Crossfit London Facebook group join here ) At the end of the challenge you’ll have some interesting ideas to either continue a self researched journey or chat to our team and see if you’d like some more support!

Here is how to get involved.

Step 1: Identify if you are an emotional eater

complete this  questionnaire and we will  tell you if your eating is emotionally driven

The Emotional Eating Questionnaire

If you know you have an emotional issue with food and find the questionnaire idea daunting/ or don’t like the one we are currently using, we can add you to the challenge without it! just drop us an email and say “add me to the  emotions/food challenge”)

(If you have problems with the questionnaire link email me and I’ll send it to you directly)

Once you’ve submitted the questionnaire we will tell you if you have issues that the challenge will help with.

Step 2: If we think the challenge will work for you, we will send you the background to the challenge and some basic tasks to help you prepare for it.

Step 3 whilst it’s not clear at the time of writing if we will use Zoom or  a Facebook group for our daily discussions, it’s as well to join the Facebook group asap here 

Step 4 each day of the challenge you’ll be sent some interesting tasks by email to make you think about things as varied as your body image, your emotions,  your social flexibility. We will discuss the results, issues, problems either on zoom or in the Facebook group later that day.

The first challenge will start on Monday 1st Feb ( We thought we’d leave some space between then and the nonsense of new years resolutions. This gives you time to jump into a 7 days celeb starvation diet, and remind yourself how awful and destructive they are before you start!).

 

 

The muscle up: because its good to have a standard

Pretty well anyone, who isn’t quite ill, can jog a bit!

It’s actually, not that difficult with a bit of basic training to get almost anyone into a simplistic exercise class. I was forced to teach basic circuit classes in 1998 as part of my initial introduction into the world of fitness teaching, and its theory was to keep it really simple and really basic “as long as their heart is elevated it’s a great workout”.

It is quite correct that basic aerobic fitness is a useful thing and that it helps bring down some of the crippling costs of the NHS. However, to make fitness “walk off the street”accessible the powers that be decided to trash the moves. It didn’t matter if you couldn’t squat, or a push-up. If you could do a ‘half jack” and elevate your heart rate you were fit!

Trashing fitness standards leaves you weak and vulnerable in what is after all a very harsh world.

Jogging and spinning on a bike does not train you to pull your family from a burning house, or pick up your children and run with them to the hospital. An emphasis on specialism produces awesome endurance runners who cannot haul their luggage and superbly strong strongmen who would collapse after jogging a mile.  At Crossfit London we look for the middle road; unfortunately, it’s a hard road.

Many people embark on fitness regimes that consist of a muddled mix of sports-specific rehabilitation and bodybuilding drills. If you are injured – you need rehabilitation drills If you are developing your golf putt – you need sports-specific drills. If you like posing on a stage wearing fake tan and teeny weenie panties – body-building drills are for you.

Of course, all training should have an aesthetic output: your body should express what it can do. Is there any point in having a Cadillac chassis with a lawnmower engine? (Actually, some people think there is: and they are so very, very special)

We think it’s second-rate to embark on a core conditioning and training regime without a clear idea of what you are going to achieve. Immature goals such as ‘reducing my 10k time by four minutes’, or ‘upping my deadlift by 8%’, – while seemingly precise and accurate – are distractingly narrow for the fundamental ‘underpinning’ training that most people need (that said, we can easily get you those targets too).

We simply aim to generally prepare you for all types of challenges, by measuring and designing training against three standards.

Crossfit fitness standard 1

There are ten recognised general physical skills. They are:

■ Endurance (cardio/respiratory) ■ Stamina (the ability to effectively use energy) ■ Strength ■ Flexibility ■ Power ■ Speed ■ Coordination ■ Agility ■ Balance ■ Accuracy

You are as fit as you are competent in each of these ten skills. A regime only develops fitness if it improves each of these skills.

Improvements in endurance, stamina, strength, and flexibility come about through training. Training improves performance through physical changes.

Improvements in coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy come about through practice – which improves the nervous system.

Power and speed are adaptations of both training and practice.

Use this standard the next time you go for a spin class ( how strong, flexible, powerful and coordinated does sitting on your ass on a bike really make you?)

Crossfit fitness standard 2

We think your training should prepare you for real life. The implication here is that fitness requires an ability to perform well at all tasks (even unfamiliar ones) combined in infinitely varying combinations. In practice, this encourages you to put aside any prior notions of sets, rest periods, reps, exercises, order of exercises, routines, etc. Nature frequently provides largely unforeseeable challenges; train for that by striving to ‘mix stuff up’.

In practice you turn up to training a bit nervous, not knowing what to expect.

It helps build will and bravery.

Crossfit fitness standard 3

Whoever invented the human body was a bit of a ‘worry puss’– they felt that one energy system just wasn’t safe enough. Rather like the householder who has a real fireplace, electric storage heaters, and gas central heating. Some would call that greedy, but a cautious person would call it prudent.

The human body has three energy systems. One for fast reactive movement (diving under a car to save your three-year-old toddler), a slower, more extended, but still, a pretty snappy system (for running 350 metres, then diving under a car to save your three-year-old toddler). Finally, there is the long term ‘trickle’ energy system (the one you use while shoe shopping, running 5k, miles away from any toddlers).

For people who have little experience of toddlers, these ‘metabolic engines’ are known

as: the phosphagen pathway, the glycolytic pathway, and the oxidative pathway.

■ The first, the phosphagen, dominates the highest-powered activities (100 metre sprint), those that last less than about ten seconds.

■ The second pathway, the glycolytic, dominates moderate-powered activities, those that last up to several minutes (400-800 metre run).

■ The third pathway, the oxidative, dominates low-powered activities, those that last in excess of several minutes (5k run, walking, shopping).

Total fitness – the fitness that Crossfit promotes and develops – requires competency and training in each of these three pathways or engines. Balancing the effects of these three pathways largely determines the how and why of the metabolic conditioning (or ‘cardio’) that we do at Crossfit. Favoring one or two to the exclusion of the others, and not recognising the impact of excessive training in the oxidative pathway, are arguably the two most common faults in fitness training.

As an overriding principle, Crossfit views the needs of an Olympic athlete and that of our grandparents as differing by degree not kind. One is looking for functional dominance the other for functional competence. Competence and dominance manifest through identical physiological mechanisms.

At CrossFit London we scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs.

In objective terms, this could mean trying and failing to master  skills like the muscle up

The muscle-up is simply a visible test. Do you really have strong arms and a  tight core? Do you have the will power to train for a move that’s genuinely hard? The advantage of a bicep curl* is that on day 1 you can do it, albeit empty-handed. All you have to do is add weight. Day 1 there’s no chance that most people can muscle up. But here is the thing. We are basically a school for adults. We teach you the functional physical literacy that you were deprived of. We have drills galore to help you learn, like this one, and expert trainers to support you.(* BTW, it’s ok, you get to do some bicep curls too!!)

We have some training drills on our facebook group if you fancy checking it out. If you want to come and train, drop us a line

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Remembrance weekend 7th/8th November 2020

It is a Crossfit London tradition to stage a special workout on Remembrance day ( this year 8th November)

This year we will be doing something slightly different. Whilst the arrangements are not set in stone, the challenge for that weekend will be to workout every hour, on the hour for 24 hours.

This is inspired by the run 1 mile every hour on the hour for 24 hours challenge.

Whilst there will be lots of detailed arrangements, we thought you’d like an advanced warning of this challenge so you can have some thinking time of how you will do it.

At its most basic level, you can simply, from home, run (walk) one mile (1k, 400m?) every hour, on the hour starting at either 9, 10 or 11 am on Saturday 7th November. This means you will have either 1 or 2 hours after the challenge ends to get breakfast, shower, and get to a memorial near you for the 11 am silence.

If running isn’t for you You may fancy 100 burpees every hour on the hour., or 20 squats, of 10 minutes of cindy, Whatever. Obviously, please don’t disturb your neighbours and make sure its Covid safe!!

In our original plan, we had hoped to open the gym, but with the 2nd lockdown, you’ll do this as a personal thing!

You may fancy 100 burpees every hour on the hour.  Obviously, where ever you do this, don’t disturb your neighbours and make sure its Covid safe!!

 

For now, that’s a date for your diary!

 

Can you be fit and fat?

The  answer to this  seemingly obvious question is  often confused by trying to define what  fat and fit means. Over the years the measurement of fat and indeed its distribution has raised some interesting  questions. I’m very aware of the muscular athletic awesome looking Crossfit athlete who comes back from their annual medical having been told they are obese according to their BMI. These are people, who when their body fat is checked(using callipers or some sort of science fiction machine) are down into the enviable category!. The next interesting “quickie” fat measure came when the discussion of abdominal obesity became fashionable The waist to hip ratio measurement was quick and easy and it certainly measured the tummy fat that showed. Today, we should all be about visceral fat. But, It’s a hard thing to measure without a CT scan . The problem with visceral fat (the fat inside your visceral cavity, or around your organs) , is that skinny people can have visceral fat and that people with a big tummy don’t necessarily have visceral fat. It can sometimes be all subcutaneous! Basically we can  have obvious fat and/or visceral fat. Now we need to ask what is healthy or what is metabolically unhealthy. According to Ortega (2012) .  If you crave the “metabolically unhealthy” crown, you must have one or more of these readings
  • high blood pressure (≥130/85 mmHg)
  • high blood triglycerides (≥150 mg/dL)
  • low HDL “good” cholesterol (<40 and 50 mg/dL in men and women, respectively)
  • high fasting blood sugar level (≥100 mg/dL)
Since the NHS actually started recording  the prevalence of obesity it was correlated with high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low good cholesterol and poor blood sugar. So it was quickly assumed that any overweight person would have these metabolically unhealthy markers. It wasn’t difficult to imagine the step to saying obesity causes them. However, this is a great example that causation doesn’t necessarily mean causation.  Is it possible to be visibly overweight ( I know that’s terribly subjective, but work with me) but still have metabolically healthy readings ( good blood pressure, good  blood sugar). Ortega et al wrote ”The intriguing metabolically healthy but obese phenotype: cardiovascular prognosis and role of fitness ”  They ran some tests using BMI and the 4 health markers and noted (i) metabolically healthy but obese individuals have a higher fitness level than their metabolically abnormal and obese peers; (ii) after accounting for fitness, metabolically healthy but obese phenotype is a benign condition, in terms of cardiovascular disease and mortality. this led to these conclusions (i) Higher fitness should be considered a characteristic of metabolically healthy but obese phenotype. (ii) Once fitness is accounted for, the metabolically healthy but obese phenotype is a benign condition, with a better prognosis for mortality and morbidity than metabolically abnormal obese individuals.
  • “Metabolically healthy” obese participants had a better baseline fitness level on the treadmill test compared with “metabolically abnormal” obese participants (adjusting for age, sex, examination year, smoking and alcohol consumption, and when using either BMI or body fat percentage to define obesity). The difference was the same for men and women.
  • “Metabolically abnormal” obese participants had significantly increased risk of dying from any cause during follow-up compared with “metabolically healthy” obese participants (adjusting for confounders and using either BMI or body fat percentage to define obesity).
  • When looking at cardiovascular disease outcomes, “metabolically abnormal” obese participants only had increased risk of a fatal or non-fatal cardiovascular disease event compared with “metabolically healthy” obese participants when using body fat percentage to define obesity. There was no difference in risk when using standard BMI definitions.
  • “Metabolically healthy” obese participants had no difference in risk of dying from any cause, or of fatal or non-fatal cardiovascular disease events compared with “metabolically healthy” normal-weight or fat participants.
On a narrow set of  health criteria and dubious “obesity’ assessments it’s quite possible to argue that you can be fat and fit!  However, over the years more concern has been raised about where your fat is . Research has indicated,visceral fat may be doing something  far more nasty. “Visceral Fat Adipokine Secretion Is Associated With Systemic Inflammation in Obese Humans” 2007 concluded “that visceral fat is an important site for IL-6 secretion ( an inflammation causing thing) and provide a potential mechanistic link between visceral fat and systemic inflammation in people with abdominal obesity”. So there is an interesting line of experiments that indicate that visceral fat could be there, releasing nasty stuff. The interesting thing is that you can be quite skinny and still have visceral fat and you can be obese and have no visceral fat. So based on current evidence and where you fat is  you can be both  visibly fat and fit and skinny and ill! Thanks to Andrewstemler.com for this article