Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rest

Since starting CrossFit back in May I have learned so much about myself and how much I can push myself through certain exercises. But I have also learned how much rest is important to perform at the best of your ability. I would have been the first person to tell you that CrossFit wasn't for me before I gave it a shot, but once you get into working out everyday with certain people, you realize that things can get addicting. The workouts the movements, and sometimes when something becomes a routine, it is hard to stop and just take a break, that is probably the most important thing there is when it comes to working out.

When starting CrossFit, I was immediately put on a 5-day a week workout plan: Monday-Wednesday, Friday-Saturday, with rest days on Thursdays and Sundays. I followed that routine pretty strict until I started running on a weekly basis, and while I wouldn't run a lot during the week, I found myself doing some sort of exercise and cardio work on my rest days. I started running a couple times a week in October and continued for a couple months into December until I realized that I needed to rest my body even though I still had the urge to go do something. When you start getting into the routine of working out daily and your rest day comes around, you feel like you need to get out and do something, instead of just sitting around the house watching TV and being lazy. Sometimes you need those days to recharge your internal battery and get your energy ready for the next day.

Since then I have switched to working out 6 days a week, with my only rest day occurring Thursdays. As some of you know, I am training for a half marathon and running has become a part of my weekly routine. CrossFit the other days during the week and then I go for a run on Sunday afternoons. I find for me that resting on Thursday, doing absolutely nothing on that day, is the only way I can fully recover from the previous workouts throughout the week. I get to sleep in, and relax enjoy the day Thursday instead of worrying about having to get some sort of workout in throughout the day. I feel as if I can be as lazy as I want but still feel recovered and ready to go Friday and the workouts that follow.

Resting is all about personal preference, it is essential that you rest throughout the week, whether you take three days off throughout the week or you take just one day off. Rest is one of the most important things that you need in order to function throughout your workouts and through life in general. Whether you do CrossFit, or you just go to your local gym and workout, take a day to just relax and do nothing, you may hate it while you are just sitting around, but I promise it will benefit you in the long run.

-@RobbieVogler

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Diet in the Journey: Paleo

I wrote about my journey and how I began CrossFit and how much it has changed my life. That is only half of why my life has been transformed. Yes working out is very important to living a healthy lifestyle but I would say even more important than working out, is the diet and the types of food you eat while you are working out. Ben Smith, while getting me highly involved in CrossFit also introduced me to a type of diet that is very popular with most CrossFitters around the world, the Paleo Diet.

I would have to say the Paleo diet is unlike any other diet that I have ever tried. The past four years in college my diet hadn't been ideal to what you want to keep a healthy lifestyle. The basics of the Paleo diet is: if a caveman would have eaten it, you can eat it. Foods that include: "grass-produced meats, fish/seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts and seeds, and healthful oils" (www.thepaleodiet.com) I have learned that what goes into my body is just as important as what I do with my body on a daily basis when it comes to my workouts. I have learned to also break up my food intakes into smaller portions which is very important when you are talking about going on any type of diet. As you start losing weight and your stomach begins to get smaller you starting eating less and you feel more full faster while you are eating meals. Instead of eating three big meals throughout your day try eating five or six smaller meals to make sure you get the amount of calories needed throughout the day, to stay healthy. Even though you do not want to stuff your face during those meals, not eating at all is worse than eating too much, especially if you are working out on a daily basis.

There are certain foods you will want to stay away from while on the Paleo diet: "cereal grains, dairy products, refined sugar, potatoes (excluding sweet potatoes), processed foods, and refined vegetable oils." (www.thepaleodiet.com) I have noticed that this is probably the hardest part of the diet, staying away from foods that you may not be used to staying away from. The only thing I have changed from this list, is I occasionally have dairy products in order to get my calcium intake for the day. I have learned that the foods I can eat outweigh the ones that I cannot eat on this diet.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, what does a normal person who is on the Paleo diet eat on a daily basis. Well here is a little guide for someone who is just beginning to experiment with Paleo and is wondering what to eat throughout the day:

Breakfast: I usually wake up an hour and a half before my workout, so I do not want to have a huge breakfast before my WOD, I like to keep it simple with a couple eggs scrambled and a few pieces of turkey bacon to get some food into my body so I have energy to start off the day right.

Post WOD/Lunch: I normally have a Progenex Recovery shake right after my workout and then once I get home I usually put a sweet potato in the oven for an hour at 425. A plain sweet potato without butter and brown sugar is the best thing right after a workout.

Mid-Day Snack: Throughout the day I like to snack on veggies or fruits, I have gained a love for celery with Peanut Butter as well as carrots dipped in guacamole, both very delicious and a very healthy snacks. I also snack on Pistachios throughout the day, they are a healthy something that you have to work a little to eat.

Dinner: This is probably my biggest meal and most important meal of my day, it usually includes something with a lot of protein (Chicken, Steak, Beef, etc.) as well as a vegetable of my choice. After dinner it really varies on what I snack on, Pistachios are always a good choice as well as in the shell peanuts.

The Paleo diet is only half of a healthy lifestyle, you have to be committed to the entire lifestyle not just one thing or another. Working out and eating healthy go hand in hand when you are trying to lose weight and change your eating habits for the better. There are hundreds of diet plans out there that people use, I have found this one to be the easiest and the most effective for me while working out with CrossFit. The most important thing to any diet plan you chose to experiment with is just to stick with it, don't just try it and give up after a couple weeks. The longer you stick with it, the more it will help you feel better about yourself and the better results you will see come out of your life.

You can get more tips and facts about the Paleo diet by visiting ThePaleoDiet.com, the original source of the Paleo diet!

@RobbieVogler

Monday, January 14, 2013

My CrossFit Journey

May 12th I graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelors degree in Communications: Video Broadcasting. I weighed 282 pounds, I was out of shape, couldn't do hardly any physical activity, and had really let myself go throughout the past four years during my college education. Just over 2 weeks after graduation I started on a journey that is still continuing to this day, a healthier life that I wouldn't trade for anything, and it all started one of my best friends garage.

May 28th I arrived to the house of Ben Smith at nine o'clock in the morning to begin my CrossFit experience. I had followed and watched CrossFit for over four years while Ben was competing at Regionals and at the CrossFit Games in California. My first thought going into the workout was I will never be able to do the things that the individuals who compete and workout doing CrossFit can do, my mind was changed very soon after. I first just wanted to lose weight and begin getting my health back to where it should be, but after the first month is became not just a workout but it became a lifestyle that I didn't want to stop. I started losing weight and was able to do things I never thought I could ever do in my life. I was working out 5 days a week, I was eating healthier than I ever had before, and for the first time in a while I felt good about the way I looked and the way I was living life. I finally was able to get involved in a workout program where I had the accountability of others around me, and something that actually worked that I enjoyed doing.

I would say the most important thing for me was the accountability that I had throughout the entire summer and even continuing now throughout my workouts, it all started with a few people that were always at Ben's house when we would workout: Ryan Sica, Timmy Fitzpatrick, Alec Smith, and Brock Brady. Those four guys along with Ben would show up everyday and go through a workout and even though I wasn't on the same level as them they treated me like I was apart of the CrossFit brotherhood they had formed. There is just something about working out with people around you that makes you want to push that much harder and work harder to get your workout completed. After a few weeks I convinced Brandon Smith to come out a few times a week and workout, and it just added another person who would keep me accountable throughout my journey. I don't think I have ever had such a great group of guys keep me wanting to come back and workout everyday that I was working out. It became more than just a group of friends coming together and working out, it became a family and I wouldn't have wanted to be apart of any other CrossFit family then the one I started out with back in May.

CrossFit to me is more than just a workout, its something that has changed my life forever and something that I will continue until I am physically unable. It is a family that stretches out farther than just the gym you workout at or the people you workout with, CrossFit is about the people you can interact with worldwide that are doing the same thing that you are doing every single day. I started CrossFit to get back into shape and to lose a little weight, 7 months later I am a new person who has added years onto his life because I workout for an hour a day 5 days a week. I have lost over 60 pounds and have gained experiences and passions that I will carry throughout my entire life. I had my doubts and concerns about CrossFit, but once I got into it and found out how amazing and how much fun it was I never looked back.

My journey started in a garage with a best friend and four guys I didn't really know that well, and it continues to this day with CrossFit Krypton and friends that I will have forever... Where will your CrossFit journey start? Take that risk and find an affiliate near you and start an adventure that you will never regret for the rest of your life.

Twitter- @RobbieVogler

Check out my blog about my eating habits and the diet I chose while continuing my CrossFit Journey.
282 (Left), 241 (Center), 218 (Right)