Kipping it Real with Tony!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym to push themselves with encouraging words. August’s Athlete of the Month is Tony Clodfelter. Tony was chosen because of the extra time and effort he puts into working on his weaknesses, his willingness to patiently let his body heal from an injury, his desire to learn and improve his technique on the snatch and clean and jerk, and his overall positive attitude that he carries with him to the gym! His hard work is paying off and we love having Tony as a part of our OPCF community! Learn more about Tony below.

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? 3 years

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? This is more challenging than I thought and I will be back. Do you remember what it was? Sadly, I don’t.

What has been your favorite workout so far? Anything with an Assault bike

What is your favorite cheat meal? Minsky’s Pizza

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? I wanted to work with computers and now I work at Cerner working on computer software.

What do you like to do outside of work? If I’m not at the gym, then I’m walking my dog or going fishing.

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?  Take your time to enjoy the experience and as you put in the time on the movements, they will get better.

What is your favorite/least favorite movement? Favorite movement is the Assault bike; least favorite movement is the burpee.

What’s one Crossfit goal you have set for yourself to accomplish this next year? Get my T2B to be more efficient.

What changes have you seen in yourself since starting at OPCF? Just being overall happy in all walks of life.

What is your biggest improvement or proudest accomplishment thus far? Biggest improvement would be my consistency coming to gym.

How do you fit working out into your weekly schedule?  I look over my weekly schedule and see what time works best for me (usually 4:30 or 5:30 after work).

What is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet? Sky diving

 

Kipping it Real with Shawn!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym to push themselves with encouraging words. July’s Athlete of the Month is Shawn Herrman. Shawn was chosen because even though he has been dealing with a couple of different injuries for the past few months, he has been extremely patient, gracious, and dedicated to getting his body back to full health. He has consistently come in and done his PT every single day, he has modified many workouts without complaint, and he is always caring and encouraging towards the other members. His positive attitude radiates throughout the gym and he is an inspiration for those who are not only dealing with an injury, but also for those who just want to improve their fitness in general. His hard work is paying off and we love having Shawn as a part of our OPCF community! Learn more about Shawn below.

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? I have been working out at OPCF since September 2020.

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was? I don’t remember my very first workout, but I do remember one of the first wods I did was a thruster workout. Alejandro and I were the last two to finish haha.

What has been your favorite workout so far? One of my favorite workouts was surprisingly the first Open workout with wall walks and double-unders.

What is your favorite cheat meal? If I had to pick my favorite cheat meal it would definitely be a double cheese burger and fries from a local restaurant back home in Hays, KS, called the Golden Q. If i can throw in a cheat dessert… definitely ice cream cake from Dairy Queen!

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? When I was younger, I actually wanted to be a doctor some day. Fortunately, this December I will be graduating from chiropractic school with my Doctorate of Chiropractic and opening up a clinic here in the KC metro area.

What do you like to do outside of work? Outside of work/school, I enjoy being outside (especially in the summer) whether it’s being at the lake, fishing, hiking, or paddle boarding. I’m always up for any type of adventure!

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? My advice for someone starting out here at OPCF would be… we all start somewhere and want to be the fittest, fastest, strongest we can be, but perfect the simple movements and enjoy the little victories.

What is your favorite/least favorite movement? My favorite movement is handstand push-ups. My least favorite right now would probably be an overhead squat.

What’s one CrossFit goal you have set for yourself to accomplish this next year? A goal for myself within the next year (besides being healthy and injury free) is to work on some of my weaknesses and be a better and more well-rounded athlete.

What changes have you seen in yourself since starting at OPCF? Since working out at OPCF, I have seen that if you put in the work (and sometimes even a little extra), you start to see those little victories add up and they not only make a difference in your performance at the gym, but also outside of the gym.

What is your biggest improvement or proudest accomplishment thus far? One thing that I was happy about was being able to string together decent sets of bar and ring muscle-ups. But, it was also good to be able to take a step back and trust the process of healing a couple of injuries.

How do you fit working out into your weekly schedule? Right now with school it has been nice for the most part to be able to workout in the morning at 9:30am and usually Open Gym. Outside of this, I usually see patients in the clinic and study.

What is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet? One thing I would love to do in the future is to work towards competing in an Rx competition.

 

Kipping it Real with Amanda!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym to push themselves with encouraging words. June’s Athlete of the Month is Amanda Ice. Amanda was chosen because she always has a very positive attitude and cheers on the other members in her class. She has already made a ton of progress when it comes to being able to complete many of the more difficult skills (such as pull-ups, rope climbs, double-unders, etc.) since having her baby and it’s very exciting to see! She has an incredible work ethic and inspires those who get to watch her work out. Her hard work is paying off and we love having Amanda as a part of our OPCF community! Learn more about Amanda below.

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? Since December 2020

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was? My first CrossFit workout was in February 2015 and it was an AMRAP of burpee box jumps and thrusters. I remember wanting to throw up and thinking how unfit I was!

What has been your favorite workout so far? My favorite workout is DT! I love any wod that includes a bunch of weightlifting!

What is your favorite cheat meal? Chips and queso

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? I honestly had no idea what I wanted to be or do when I was younger. Now I’m a project manager at Cerner.

What do you like to do outside of work? I love to hangout with my family, go to Chiefs and Royals’ games, take my dog for walks, and play volleyball.

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? CrossFit becomes less intimidating the more you do it. You may not see changes day by day, but after 6 months or so, you will be able to look back and see how much stronger you’ve gotten and healthier you feel.

What is your favorite/least favorite movement? My favorite movements are snatches and double-unders and my least favorite is running. I would rather do ANYTHING than run haha!

What’s one Crossfit goal you have set for yourself to accomplish this next year? Coming back from giving birth in Sept. 2020, my goal in 2021 is to regain my midline/core strength that I had pre-baby.

What changes have you seen in yourself since starting at OPCF? Since starting at OPCF, I have become stronger both mentally and physically.

What is your biggest improvement or proudest accomplishment thus far? My biggest improvement has been the strengthening of my core. I still have a ways to go, but I’m already seeing improvement and it’s really encouraging! I have also hit my max clean and close to my max snatch so that’s been exciting as well.

How do you fit working out into your weekly schedule? I love working out at the 4:30pm class because it’s right after I get done from work and it’s such a great time to de-stress after a long workday! I try to get in at least 3, usually 4 CrossFit sessions a week.

What is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet? I’ve always wanted to be able to do a muscle-up! Some day it’s going to happen!

 

Protein? Why You Need It and Genius Ideas to Get It

If you are an avid gym-goer, you’ve probably been asked the question “What kind of protein powder do you use?” This is a common question among most exercisers because of the common knowledge that protein is an important part of one’s diet. But sometimes it can be difficult to find healthy ways to get enough protein in order to keep up with your ever-increasing gains. Protein bars and shakes can be a good option to help increase protein intake, but oftentimes these also contain large amounts of sugar and other ingredients that our bodies could do without. Before we talk about some ingenious ways to get more protein without relying on unnecessary supplements, shakes, or bars, let’s quickly discuss why protein is so important for your body.

Protein is one of the three main macronutrients (carbohydrates and fat are the other two). Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks for almost everything in our bodies. They can be broken down and re-assembled in many different ways. However, our body does not store extra amino acids so the protein that we intake is always getting used and recycled. Therefore, if we don’t get enough protein, our body will start taking it from other parts that we actually need (like our muscles) so it’s important that we replenish lost protein by eating enough of it. 

Most people know that they need protein every day, but they’re unsure of just how much. The answer to this question can be a bit complicated and depends on several different factors. A good to place to start is the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), which can be calculated using the following formula: 0.8 g/kg (0.36 g/lbs). For example, a 150-lb person (68kg) would need 150 x 0.36 (or 68 x 0.8) or approximately 54g of protein per day. This generally works out to be about 10% of an individual’s daily caloric intake. However, the RDA is a very broad recommendation and doesn’t take into account many important factors, such as one’s carbohydrate intake, biological sex, age, when protein is eaten, what kind of activities are done, etc. For a more accurate protein recommendation, a nutrition professional can calculate the correct macro breakdown based on an individual’s weight, activity level, age, fitness goals, etc. 

Once you have a more accurate macro number for how much protein is needed daily, trying to actually meet that number can become difficult. Oftentimes, athletes have no issue getting enough fat, and can usually get enough carbohydrates as well, but usually struggle to find ways to eat enough protein. Here are several ingenious ways to add more protein to your diet:

  • Add Greek yogurt to your eggs – seriously. If you like to eat scrambled eggs for breakfast, add a serving of Greek yogurt for some extra protein. Added bonus: it will make your eggs more fluffy!
  • Use Greek yogurt as a sour cream substitute!
  • Eat more beans! That’s right…black beans, lentils, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, etc. can be added to a salad, soups, a burrito bowl, or even a veggie scramble. 
  • Snack on hummus. This is great to dip vegetables and/or pita chips in. 

Sources:

https://www.americansportandfitness.com/blogs/fitness-blog/the-importance-of-protein-for-athletes

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/will-a-high-protein-diet-harm-your-health 

https://www.thehealthy.com/nutrition/how-to-eat-more-protein/

Resting Heart Rate: All You Need to Know

In this day and age with all the advancements in technology, emerging ideas in sports psychology, improved sports equipment, etc., athletes are trying to do what they can to gain whatever kind of edge they can over their opponents. One such method that can be used to heighten an athlete’s training and fine-tune their workouts is paying attention to their resting heart rate and working to try to improve it. This is important because your resting heart rate can be a useful way to measure your fitness and overall health. 

Resting heart rate is the measure of your average heart beats per minute (bpm) while your body is in a state of rest. In general, a lower resting heart rate is a good thing. So, what is a normal resting heart rate? Well, according to the American Heart Association, a normal resting heart rate is usually between 60 and 100 bpm. However, for many athletes and people who are consistently active, their normal resting heart rate can usually dip closer to 40 bpm. Some other factors that contribute to an individual’s resting heart rate is gender (typically females have a higher resting heart rate than males because their hearts are smaller, which produces less blood flow with each beat so the heart must beat faster to get the same output) and age (one’s resting heart rate usually increases as they get older). 

As discussed above, many athletes will do whatever it takes to get the edge on their opponents. And one way they do this is by working to decrease their resting heart rate. This is because “when your heart rate goes down, it means that each heart beat is more effective”. A low resting heart rate is an indicator of a strong heart muscle that can then pump out more blood with every beat so that it doesn’t have to beat as frequently. Your physical fitness is directly related to how strong your heart is. Therefore, when your heart is stronger and doesn’t have to work as hard to push blood throughout the body or deliver oxygen to your muscles, your fitness level increases. 

So, if having a lower resting heart rate is the goal, what are some things that you can do to accomplish that? First and foremost – and this is probably a given – exercise! More specifically, aerobic exercise (like running or biking that you can maintain for longer periods of time at 70-80% of your max heart rate) is ideal for building cardiovascular strength. Furthermore, the following list of behaviors can also help you decrease your resting heart rate:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating a well-balanced diet
  • Drinking enough water
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Limiting caffeine intake

Sources:

https://www.whoop.com/thelocker/normal-resting-heart-rate-improve-fitness/#:~:text=A%20low%20resting%20heart%20rate%20is%20an%20indication%20of%20a,the%20strength%20of%20your%20heart

 

Kipping it Real with Clayton!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym to push themselves with encouraging words. May’s Athlete of the Month is Clayton Dye. Clayton was chosen because it is evident that he is striving to get better by signing up for additional programs that OPCF has to offer (Gymnastics program and Nutrition program) and through the way he prioritizes good technique over heavier weight on his lifts. He is a very hard worker and it shows with the progress he’s made in the time that he’s been doing CrossFit. His hard work is paying off and we love having Clayton as a part of our OPCF community! Learn more about Clayton below.

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? 11 months! Time flies..

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was? Loved it. I remember coming on a day we had to do a million thrusters. Me being naive, thought it was no big deal when we warmed up/practiced it before the Metcon. Boy was I wrong. Still made it to class the next day 🙂

What has been your favorite workout so far? As much as it hurt the next day, I enjoyed the 100 devil’s press and burpees workout from the winter. It was ROUGH but I felt like I had really accomplished something many people wouldn’t have attempted.

What is your favorite cheat meal? Tough choice, it’s either sushi or 5 Guys’ Burgers.

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? Astronaut. I realized in high school that Calculus and Statistics were going to be the max my brain could handle in math. I then found the Stock Market and wanted to become a Stock Broker. However, NY is really far away from family and friends. I am now a Merchandiser Assistant at a commodity trading firm.

What do you like to do outside of work? Hunting, fishing, camping, hiking or going on walks with the wife at a park and feeding the geese.

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? Commit to it whole heartedly. CF definitely isn’t something you can half commit to and get the results you’re looking for. It’s tough but in the end its worth it and there is no better feeling than kicking a workout’s butt. I’d also add, practice makes perfect. I’m still not very good at double-unders, but I am slowly getting there through the help of the coaches and other CF’ers that lend advice!

What is your favorite/least favorite movement? Snatch… Really anything overhead. Shoulders die every time.

What’s one Crossfit goal you have set for yourself to accomplish this next year?  Set a new PR in squats and power clean.

What changes have you seen in yourself since starting at OPCF? I’m able to move heavier weight more quickly and with better technique. Leah’s nagging… er, coaching, has kept me honest and more mindful of foot placement and other aspects of a lift that keep me from hurting myself. Klaudia’s nutrition plan has helped quite a bit as well. I am trying to gain a little bit of weight and eating as much as I do, I haven’t felt groggy or heavy during a workout. I’m seeing great results both on the scale, and in my legs and upper body.

What is your biggest improvement or proudest accomplishment thus far?  It might be small but being able to do a dip on the rings. An old football injury has kept me from doing a lot with shoulders but with the right technique I’ve been able to do those and increase the speed at which I get them done.

How do you fit working out into your weekly schedule? Every day after work! I work the normal 8-5 gig so 6:30 is the best time for me to get a workout in. I will occasionally make it to the 5:30 AM class as well later in the week but the bed sometimes wins out.

What is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet?  Deep sea fishing or a trip to New Zealand for many reasons but mostly to sight see. Really pretty country out there.

 

 

Rest Day v. Active Recovery Day

As you roll over in bed to press the snooze button on your alarm, a quiet groan escapes from your lips. Every muscle in your body hurts, even muscles you didn’t know existed, and you think to yourself, ‘What did I do?’ You do a quick review of the past week’s worth of workouts and quickly realize that you haven’t had a day off for a couple of weeks. It hits you: ‘maybe it’s time to take a rest day’. 

It can often be difficult for athletes to convince themselves that they need to take a day off every once in a while. Sometimes taking a rest day makes them feel like they are going to get behind their peers training-wise or maybe taking a rest day is difficult because you feel sluggish or lethargic the day after when you come back to the gym. Whatever the reason, it’s important to give your body rest, whether that’s with a complete rest day or through an active recovery day. In order to decide which one is best for your body, let’s take a look at what these two different recovery days look like and their benefits.

Taking a rest day does not mean that you have to sit on your butt all day and remain immobile. This is actually a common misconception about rest days: you have to act like a couch potato. This is not the case. When taking a rest day, you can still participate in your normal, daily activities such as going grocery shopping, cooking in the kitchen, etc., but you should avoid doing more rigorous activities like yard work, cleaning the house, etc. The objective of a rest day is to boost mental and physical recharging. This occurs when you provide your body with enough time to rebuild and replace what’s been lost throughout the week – muscles, fluids, mentality, etc. During your rest days, you should place more emphasis on sleep, which is extremely important to the recovery process. Getting a couple extra hours of sleep and reducing one’s activity level can go a long way to keeping the body, and mind, healthy.

An active recovery day differs from a rest day in that it does involve some sort of physical exertion outside of your regular day-to-day activities. Active recovery is anything low-intensity that still causes you to break a sweat, but doesn’t leave you collapsed on the floor gasping for air. Active recovery activities should leave you feeling better than you did before and ready to tackle the next day’s workout. Therefore, avoid anything that will ramp up your heart rate or leave you with aching muscles. Some possible activities include: taking a long walk, going for a slow jog, or riding your bike. 

So, how often should you take a rest day and/or active recovery day? It is best to try to schedule at least one active recovery day and one rest day per week. A common weekly schedule followed by many elite CrossFitters is to hit their workouts hard Monday-Wednesday, take an active recovery day on Thursday, hit their workouts hard again on Friday and Saturday, and then take a full rest day on Sunday. Of course, this depends on your schedule, but it gives your body time to recover after several days of intense training so that you can finish out the rest of the week strong. 

Sources:

https://www.openfit.com/difference-in-rest-days-and-active-recovery

https://www.crossfitinvictus.com/blog/active-recovery/

 

30 Minute Butter Chicken Meatballs

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6

Calories: 212 kcal

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 T. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 can (14 ounces) full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup plain greek
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • steamed rice and naan, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Add the turkey, egg, bread crumbs, and a pinch each of salt and pepper to a bowl. Coat your hands with a bit of olive oil, and roll the meat into tablespoon size balls (will make 15-20 meatballs), placing them on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are crisp and cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 5 minutes or until fragrant. Add the garlic and ginger, cooking another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the garam masala, curry powder, turmeric, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the tomato paste, coconut milk, and 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine, bring the sauce to a boil, cook 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Stir in the yogurt and butter. Add the meatballs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
  6. Serve the meatballs and sauce over bowls of rice with fresh naan. Enjoy!

Source: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/30-minute-butter-chicken-meatballs/

Kipping it Real with Ricardo!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym to push themselves with encouraging words. January’s Athlete of the Month is Ricardo Perdomo. Ricardo was chosen because ever since he made the transition from Bootcamp to CrossFit, he has started coming to CrossFit classes 5-6 times per week; he continues to push himself in every workout; he has completed several workouts RX; he always brings a positive attitude to class and rises to the challenge of conquering movements that he doesn’t like or that are difficult for him. His hard work is paying off and we love having Ricardo as a part of our OPCF community! Learn more about Ricardo below.

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? 6 months total: 2months of bootcamp and 4 months of CrossFit.

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was? It was a Saturday morning bootcamp class and it kicked my butt, but I knew I wanted to sign up immediately. 

What has been your favorite workout so far? The first RX metcon I finished.

What is your favorite cheat meal? I have several but the one that stands out is fried chicken. 

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? Anything with computers. I work for Carmax as a CXA II on the Transaction Support Team. 

What do you like to do outside of work? I draw, paint and love to spend time with my family. 

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? Be consistent. Research the sport by looking at videos, podcasts, competitions etc. You will find great motivation in that and then listen to your body. When is time to slow down, slow down. You want to keep it fun.

What is your favorite/least favorite movement? Favorite: bear crawl; Least favorite: overhead squats 🤢🤮. 

What’s one Crossfit goal you have set for yourself to accomplish this next year? To do “Murph” (#scaled4life).

What changes have you seen in yourself since starting at OPCF? I’ve gotten stronger, faster and have more energy throughout the day.

What is your biggest improvement or proudest accomplishment thus far? My blood pressure is normal now without medication. 

How do you fit working out into your weekly schedule? I make it a priority.  It’s a lifestyle. Your health is important. 

What is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet? Travel to an Asian country and experience their culture.

The Magic of the Single Leg RDL

Going through a proper warm-up is essential for preventing injuries, moving well, and ensuring that your workout goes smoothly. Oftentimes, it can be difficult to write a warm-up that adequately prepares your body for the beating that is to come. One exercise that helps you get the most bang for your buck is the single leg Romanian deadlift (RDL). 

There are many reasons why this exercise is important and effective. It is an authentic single leg movement which means that it will translate over to other movements as well, such as running and cutting. This single leg movement also teaches you how to load and develop force through one leg, improve stability, and it targets the glutes and hamstrings which are often under-developed due to most athletes being quad dominant. When done correctly, this exercise can do wonders for building strength and increasing overall performance.

Even though the exercise looks easy enough to complete (see video below), there are several common mistakes that people often make when performing the movement:

  • Lowering instead of reaching – a common fault of athletes performing the single leg RDL is lowering towards the ground instead of reaching their foot back behind them. This fault causes the athlete’s lower back to round as they are trying to move the weight to the ground instead of using their hips (by hip hinging) to move the weight to the ground. To fix this, think about initiating the movement by reaching the sole of your shoe to a wall behind you or shutting the car door behind you when your hands are full of groceries. 
  • Uneven hips – when performing the RDL, the hips should stay level, which then allows the glutes to do the majority of the work. A common fault is letting the hip of the extended leg lift higher than the hip of the grounded leg as the weight is lowered to the ground. In order to fix this, pay attention to the grounded foot and make sure the entire foot is planted on the ground instead of rolling to the outside of the foot (on the pinky toe side). Secondly, think about placing the weight by the big toe of the grounded foot instead of lowering it in a straight line. 
  • Turning it into a balancing exercise – many people incorrectly assume that the RDL is an exercise to increase one’s balance. However, the RDL is actually an exercise to strengthen the leg and hip while also increasing one’s single-leg stability. Oftentimes, when fatigue starts to set in, athletes will start to lose focus and begin to look like a baby deer trying to stand up for the first time. Performing this movement correctly is extremely important so it’s ok to rest in between reps when you feel yourself starting to get shaky and to finish with both feet on the ground to ensure that you are maintaining control throughout the movement. 

RDL Video: https://youtu.be/Bbsz-I91wGI 

Sources: https://www.stack.com/a/why-everybody-botches-single-leg-deadlifts