Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This video doesn't suck

So this past weekend, Aryan and I decided to put away our spatulas and aprons and put on a pair of designer workman glasses so we could bust out the table saw for some good ole' weekend carpentry.

Armed with a shed-load of PVC pipe, a tape measure-er and the fumes from a couple incredibly stubborn cans of PVC primer and cement, we continued to make magic happen.

Although the footage may not be of the best quality, you can guarantee the dancing is.

So now, without further adieu, I present to you ladies and gentlemen...Carpentry...at it's finest.

For thorough instruction on how to build this PVC pipe dip station please visit:


...or just watch this video again

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Truth Hurts...

Saw this on one of my buddies blogs the other day, so true in both cases. Gives us more reason not just to eat right and fuel ourselves properly, but to also set a good example for the little ones that are watching our every move.
"There Is A Lot Of Talk About How Many Overweight Children There Are In The United States. Statistics Show 1 Out Of Every 3 Children Is Overweight Or Obese. And The Number Doesn't Seem To Be Going Down. Books Are Written About It. Magazine Articles Have Been Written About It. Even The First Lady Of The United States Has Gotten Involved. While There Has Been Much Said And Written, Finding Solutions Is The Key To Helping Kids Change. Studies Show That Children Follow The Example They See In The Home. If Mom Eats Healthy, They Will Eat Healthy. If Dad Stays Active, They Will Be Active. The Reverse Is Also True.Parents Who Do One Thing And Say Another Are Not Very Effective Examples. Kids Tend To Be Very Good Observers. They Are Also Very Good At Noticing Inconsistencies. So, For Healthy Kids


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wealth is knowledge, so share the wealth!

On my recent trip to the almighty Ranch Market 99 (click the link to find a location nearest you) off of I-10 and Blalock Rd. I found a few more reasons why this place is f*ckin' awesome. Let me now begin to share those reasons with you...

1). They're produce is cheap, fresh, and seasonal. They really don't supply their store with fruits and vegetables that are out of season. It's winter time, so you can expect winter produce along with the produce that is good year round. Why do we buy fruits and vegetables that are in season? Well because they're cheaper, fresher and more nutrient dense when they're growing naturally within their appropriate time of the year. If you're curious about what fruits and vegetables are actually in season and which ones are good year round, check out my old post Eat ya greens. Also if you want depth on why you should stop paying 9$ a lb for pesticide-infused strawberries go here: Five reasons to go seasonal by Whole9

Check out the fresh shipment of Gold Kiwifruits. If you enjoy Kiwifruit then you will literally kill a man for these Gold Kiwis. They're that awesome and guess what...they're in season. I just picked up about 30-35 today for 16$, oh no you didn't Ranch99...yes they did.

2). They have top-quality eggs. They carry USDA certified organic and certified humane eggs. Yes you are reading that correctly, two certified labels in one. Remember, farms must go out of their way to pay the money to have their poultry and egg processes certified under USDA or Humane Farm Animal Care in order to allow these stamps to be placed upon their product, so these certifications are meaningful! Being certified organic means these chickens are fed an all-vegetarian diet, free of animal byproducts, antibiotics and pesticides. Also these animals organic foods can't be grown using any synthetic fertilizers, chemicals, or sewage sludge, cannot be genetically modified, and cannot be irradiated. Certified humane is in conjunction with a program called Humane Farm Animal Care. These chickens are cage-free and must be able to perform their natural behaviors such as nesting, perching and dust-bathing. Forced molting through starvation is prohibited as well.

The combination of the two makes for some happy hens and some damn good eggs. Quality is pivotal when we're concerned with food consumption. We must understand that the way these animals are both treated and fed has a complete affect on our bodies well-being. Essentially we're eating these animals or products of these animals, so the better lives they live, the better lives we live.

Fortunately for us (@ West Houston) we have access to top-quality eggs with the delivery of Yonder Way Farms every 4th Thursday of the month. So, for future reference stock your fridge with quality eggs because healthy eggs last a long time.

For more information regarding eggs or clarification and validity of my crazy talk, see Whole9's post on eggs here: The Conscientious Omnivore: Eggs.

3). They have top-quality coconut products. If you haven't read Tricia's post on coconuts and the benefits of coconuts over at the CFWH nutrition blog I suggest you do so...right...now---> (The truth about coconuts). She hits the nail on the head. What's not to like about coconuts? Honestly? They're sweet, deliciously hydrating and you can damn near eat and drink every aspect of the coconut itself (except the shell). Coconuts contain a high concentration of saturated fat and contrary to the belief that "fat makes you fat" or "fat makes you unhealthy" this type of saturated fat does not. It actually makes you, well...healthy. Most of the saturated fat is a type of fat called lauric acid. This type of fat has no affect on cholesterol levels whatsoever and can actually strengthen your immune system as well as help to reverse the process of "leaky gut syndrome" A malfunction of our gastrointestinal system due to tiny micro perforations within our intestinal lining after a repeated consumption of anti-nutrient proteins found in grains, legumes and dairy (lectins and gluten).

Not to mention it is an excellent source of energy. Cocounut products like other good sources of dietary fat have no effect on insulin and glucagon, 2 main hormonal players in the storage and mobilization process of food digestion after consumption. In simplistic terms, without all the chronic carbohydrates, our bodies can be trained to use both this dietary fat and body fat stores as fuel. This can allow us to really tap into an "unlimited" source of energy.

Coconut milk is one of the most popular sources of coconut now-a-days. Be sure to read the label before purchasing. We want to try and keep the ingredient list short, preferably to one. Here is my favorite brand found at Ranch 99, notice the ingredients on the left...100% coconut milk. Sweet language, but even sweeter price. 3$ for about a quart of pure decadence. Get some healthy medium chain triglycerides in ya system!

Coconut water or young coconut juice seems to be another popular trend amongst athletes and weekday warriors everywhere. Loaded with an incredible potassium, mineral and electrolyte content, in one serving this potent liquid is said to have more electrolytes than your typical sports drink and more potassium than a full banana. So, take this with you to the gym for post workout re-hydration or drink it instead of your typical weekend martini, guarantee this won't go straight to your ass. They're running a special right now, two 18 oz cans for three bucks. I no lie.

Again, notice the singular ingredient on the left...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Our very own Christopher McMillan taking on his own "danger wod-esque" type of workout in Thailand at the Full Moon Party. What's the wod you ask? As many jumps as possible until you catch on fire or pass out. Atta boy Chris!

Mr. McMillan is in town for a short while, so if you see him, tell him how much we miss him at CFWH, cause' we do.

Let's see more pics of our members living life! Feel free to email them to me at siraja.tai@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Goal setting...

I've been doing some research on goal setting and improving our capabilities to better help you guys understand the importance of goals, setting them and busting our ass to get to them. I came across a guy named Blair Morrison's blog, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Blair, he is a 2-times Crossfit Games competitor (09'..7th place,10'...23rd place) and an overall intellectually brilliant expert on fitness and all that encompasses. Here's some brief excerpts from the various sections pertaining to goals, potential and exposing weaknesses on his crossfit journal 3-part article "Fitness is..."

"Discovering our weaknesses also gives us the opportunity to improve. If we only do things we are good at, we will have no motivation to train and no knowledge of where we can get better. And the affirmation won from hard fought gains is far more powerful than that which we get after discovering a hidden talent. Most people know this from experience. Think about your first push-up, mile run, handstand or all-day hike. Think about the time you set a personal record of any kind after being stuck on a plateau for months. This type of empowerment only comes from improvement. Nobody is without weakness. In fact, in the history of time, nobody has ever been that good at any one thing that he/she couldn’t get better.

The good news is that physical potential does not expire. It has no shelf life. Whatever state you’re in at whatever moment, you can always be better. So be better.

Too often, people try to do this (goal setting) by setting a number to hit, a person to beat or a mirror to impress, implicitly attaching a finite quality to the process. This focus is flawed. As you change and improve, so too should your potential grow and your ambition swell. Remember that fitness is a goal inadvertently attained through the systematic overestimation of yourself in all fields. It’s a byproduct of setting the bar too high, of striving for perfection and falling just short. It’s knowing that you’ll never get there but trying your damndest nonetheless. It’s constantly pushing your limits in every direction regardless of your skill. Do this and we inevitably yield the best version of ourselves.

This is one of the most important discoveries we get to make in fitness: There is no ceiling."

A little reality check...

"I love fitness because it’s a results-based pursuit, the purest form of meritocracy. You set goals and you reach them. Or you don’t. No list of excuses will ever change the fact that you didn’t make the time, lose the weight or prevent the heart attack. So stop making excuses. Some people have it harder than others, I grant you. Tough shit. The mirror doesn’t care, and neither do I. If the individual reaps the benefit, then so too must he shoulder the burden.

Whatever the challenge, just get it done."

-Blair Morrison Anywhere Fitness. 2-time Crossfit Games competitor

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Virtuosity, the overlooked and forgotten...

My brother has recently been reading the Crossfit manual in preparation for his certification coming up in late February. The other day he asked me about "Virtuosity" and if I still remembered what it was. "Of course" I said, "It's doing the little things well, the details." He replied with "it's performing the common uncommonly well." Ehh I was close enough. Well..not really

Intrigued by his question, I took to the article on virtuosity written back in 2005 by Coach Greg Glassman, the founder of crossfit and began to read. I was immediately put in my place. Virtuosity is more than just paying attention to detail and doing the common uncommonly well, it IS crossfit and so much more. Virtuosity seems to be a fading trend amongst coaches, trainers and crossfit boxes due to an infatuation with "fancy" movements and sexy met-cons with a lack of adherence towards fundamental movements and foundational principles.

Any athlete or coach that takes passion in crossfit and completely respects the sport as a whole will understand that one must exemplify mastery within a skill/art before advancing onto one of more difficulty. We all have a tendency to go against the grain. I'm sure we would all love to be great overhead squatters, but if our air squat sucks, our overhead squat would be abysmal. Next, imagine adding weight to that bar overhead when you can't even air squat efficiently with your own body weight. Possible? Doubtful. Smart? No. Lack of progress? Yes. Injury? Most likely.

It's instinctual for us to WANT to be good at everything, but we must understand that we WILL NOT and CAN NOT be good at everything. We must set our ego's aside and become "coach-able". This does not solely pertain to crossfit but also life. Let yourself be the student and understand and learn from the ones who are knowledgeable. Learn the basics and work towards perfecting those basics before moving onto the next step. There's no way to go from step 1 to step 3 without going through step 2. It's an impossibility. When you cut corners you only hinder progress and put yourself in danger, regardless the situation.

Within crossfit, there are reasons behind why we constantly preach full range of motion, correct technique and proper form. Why we constantly scale rep schemes, weight and intensity. We tell you to scale because we care about your progress and advancement as an athlete. We pleasantly yell for chest to the ground, full extension during your push-ups and hip crease below the knee, stand tall for your squats because we care for the safety, strength and well-being of your joints and musculature. There is reasoning why we sound like broken records when it comes to movements, standards and crossfit. We expect a lot from the athletes because we know what they're capable of. The athletes should hold the same for the coaches. So next time someone tells you to scale reps, drop weight or move to your knees and get that ***damn chest to the ground , understand why they're doing it. It's not because they hate you or because they enjoy singling you out, but rather because they truly care for your safety, your progress and the rate of return on your efforts.

Virtuosity ladies and gentlemen...virtuosity.

Read the whole article here: http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/Virtuosity.pdf