“There is moderation even in excess.” Benjamin Disraeli

Interesting quote! Can you have moderation in excess? I believe that you can by knowing your limitations. When training, if all you do is moderation, you won’t improve. The key is finding the right balance of moderate and more strenuous workouts.

This leads me to my long-awaited discussion concerning the popular “CrossFit”
CrossFit pic

What do I think about CrossFit? I could probably write a book on Crossfit and its advantages and disadvantages. I started studying crossfit several years ago when teaching classes to train athletes. My desire was to find new innovative moves to stimulate muscles that we don’t work in our normal circuit routines. To be honest, I had trouble finding exercises that were safe, effective, AND appropriate for most participants. If Crossfit were used to train Olympic athletes only, I would probably say, Go for it! But to train the general population that varies in age, fitness level, and has different needs, I would have to poo poo it.

I will say I like the general idea of working together, enthusiasm, and results. Crossfit definitely achieves all 3 of these things. Maybe due to a “cult” following. Not quite sure, but any program that creates as much dedication and enthusiasm is doing something right.

Here are the facts:
1. Should we train until failure as Crossfit demands? Yes, if the definition of failure is when the participant can no longer do the exercise with proper technique/form.
2. Should you do everything Crossfit instructors recommend? Definitely NOT. Most Crossfit gyms are very cheap to open and operate and the staff doesn’t need much in the way of certification, so their qualifications may be very limited. One of my close friends dropped their membership because they demanded that she run and she hated running. They kept badgering her until she had just had enough.
3. Should you do heavy lifting at high velocity? Another Definitely NOT. The pace should adjust based on the amount of weight. Never do heavy weight lifting at high velocity
4. Is planned randomization effective: Yes & No. Cross training is very effective, but the term “planned randomization” is really an oxymoron. So, my feeling is that workouts should be planned. You don’t want to tear down the same muscle on consecutive days, so the old-fashioned way of working muscles then allowing rest for reparation and rebuilding is still a better way.
5. What is the injury potential? Moderation should always be considered depending on the participant. Crossfit is the exact opposite of moderation, so you can probably answer this question yourself.
6. What is Rhabdomyolysis? This term has gotten some press lately because a very small number of crossfit participants have taken the workouts to extremes as far as muscle training. According to Eric Robertson, physical therapist, under extreme conditions your muscles cells explode. They die. They leach protein out into the blood stream, including one form called myoglobin. Ever stalwart, your kidneys take up the job of clearing these dangerous proteins from the blood. Unfortunately, myoglobin proteins aren’t designed to be in the blood in the first place and they can easily overload the kidney. This can produce injury or death to all or part of the kidney in a short amount of time, and is potentially lethal. Locally, the muscles are left damaged and dying. Swelling ensues and weakness occurs as pressure builds around the remaining muscle cells. Your body’s systems that normally can assist with this local muscle damage are now offline trying to help you not die. If you get to this stage, you’re in serious trouble.

7. What about the Paleo diet? I will agree there is more good to it than bad. (I’ve bolded the good). But if you follow my blogs with daily diet and nutrition you will see that cereals, grains, and legumes are important, dairy is fine in moderation, and high amounts of animal protein is not good. Better to get protein from fish or poultry and vegetarian sources such as tofu, beans, and quinoa.
The ground rules are as follows:
1. All the lean meats, fish, and seafood you can eat
2. All the fruits and vegetables you can eat
3. No cereals or grains
4. No legumes
5. No dairy products
6. No processed foods
The seven keys of the Paleo diet according to Loren Cordain, Ph.D.
1. Eat a relatively high amount of animal protein compared to that in the typical American diet.
2. Eat fewer carbohydrates than most modern diets recommend, but eat lots of good carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables, not from grains or refined sugars.
3. Eat a large amount of fiber from nonstarchy fruits and vegetables.
4. Eat a moderate amount of fat, with more good (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fats than bad (saturated) fats, and nearly equal amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fats.
5. Eat foods with a high potassium content and low sodium content.
6. Eat a diet with a net alkaline load.
7. Eat foods rich in plant phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

In summary, don’t be concerned if younger kids, relatives, friend get involved with Crossfit. Do be concerned if an elderly friend does, or if the younger generation becomes obsessed. Anything in excess is probably not a good thing long-term. There will be injuries, and there will be negative consequences.

Beverages: Normal 70-90 ounces water, 2 cups coffee in AM, large unsweetened tea in PM
Exercise: Trail Ran 6 miles, 8 minute abs and stretch
Scrambled eggs with tomato and onion, strawberries and blueberries
Huge bowl of Kale salad with leftover salmon, cranberries, broccoli slaw and lite vinaigrette dressing. Gluten free crackers about 1/4 box
Snacks: Celery and carrots dipped in peanut butter
Supper: Homemade Gluten-free veggie pizza. I finally got the crust right (made in bread maker)! Spinach, onion, mushroom, tomato, olives, broccoli, cheese. Yummy!
2 glasses of Chardonnay

Large quantities of everything. Doesn’t matter how much when it’s great food and you’re getting tons of exercise

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