Confidential and Encrypted WOD

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2 mile run (.25 mile backwards)

AMRAP: 5 pushups, 5 seconds in up position, 5 seconds in down position (shown below)

Tabata alternating lunge

Tabata low pank

20 minutes or more of yoga

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Stay hydrated fam.

-FFB

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Hero WOD: David

VTDOC Correctional Officer/SRT Member

March 20, 1988-March 19, 2018

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50 Jacks

(3) 150ft Farmers walks @ half bodyweight

(3) attempts to establish 1RM (bench, back squat, deadlift)

AMRAP 75% Max (bench, back squat, deadlift)

30 minutes (exercise bike of your choice)

AMRAP Pushups

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“Our needs need attention, I’m blinded by the truth
Let me release the tension that’s taking hold of you.
It’s only natural to free the animal (inside)
The nature of the beast is, you want it
Nature of the beast is, I do too
Let’s unleash and cut the creature loose
Oh, it’s the nature of the beast in you.”

-FFB

Don’t go blind WOD 08.21.17

Its bright out there. Be careful.

WOD

Tabata Squats on a Bosu ball (standard 4 min)

3 sets bench to max @ 75% body weight

EMOM for 20 minutes: 5 pullups, 5 burpees, 5 box jumps 24in

5 minutes of yoga

Be safe.

-FFB

 

WOD and chat 05/01/17

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Within the next couple months, I should be moving down south. Specifically Charlotte, North Carolina. Charlotte isn’t considered the deep south, but when you’ve lived in the northeast for your whole life, it’s a pretty big change of pace and scenery. It should certainly allot many more opportunities for outdoor training and  running than what I’ve been used to living in New York and Vermont. Charlotte seems to have an abundance of parks and fitness facilities. I will certainly document this more when I officially move and have time to explore. For now, in the spirit of this and Spring weather, I have developed a short outdoor workout.

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WOD 05/01/17

Find a parking strip or field that’s approximately 100 yards long.

Run 100 yards

20 flutter kicks

Run backwards 100 yards

10 push-ups

AMRAP for 20 minutes. Anytime you stop, you must rest in a plank position.

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-FFB

Opinion: Coffee

It’s been over a year and I’ve written thirty or forty blogs about fitness and nutrition now. It seems like it time to branch out slightly. I’m going to test the waters with this blog for starters. Keep in mind that I’m not trying to get anyone irritated with my opinion and the things I’m going to write in the section below.  I’m entitled to my opinion and you are as well. Twisted panties are uncomfortable to wear, so just relax. My apologies if you know me personally and have heard my rants before.

I know coffee doesn’t matter to some people and its the life-blood of others.

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Buying it prepared at a store or restaurant

If you’re buying coffee prepared at a store or restaurant, you’re either in a rush, on the go, lazy, or just prefer it. The biggest suppliers of prepared coffee are gas stations, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Starbucks.

Gas stations. Let’s be honest…just about everything gas stations offer leave a lot to be desired. From the food to the people to the bathrooms. The food can definitely be scary and questionable. However, for whatever reason I usually trust the coffee under certain circumstances.

Most decent gas will brew coffee and put it in the insulated dispensers (don’t act like you don’t know what I’m laying down here). Whats the point here? The dispenser keeps the coffee warm and keeps it from burning.

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So gas station coffee usually isn’t the most fresh, but its definitely not burnt and because insulated containers are cheap, gas stations can easily supply multiple varieties of coffee. Try one till you’re content or maybe you just load it with flavored creamer and don’t care. Too soon?

Starbucks. I’d say Starbucks is probably my top choice as far as commercialized coffee goes. Starbucks parallels the experience of an independent coffee shop or maybe its the other way around (I’m not old enough to know that). What you get out of a Starbucks is high quality varieties of coffee and a relaxed/comfortable place to enjoy it in.

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Some people seem to always complain that Starbucks is more expensive. I’m not one of those people. Of course you’re gonna pay five bucks for a ridiculous, sugary drinks for basic girls, but we aren’t talking about that right now. The price of a cup of Starbucks coffee is usually around ten cents more per cup than other coffee brands. Honestly, its worth it. Why? Starbucks makes their coffee fresh every half hour (other places like Panera Bread have followed suit with this). The other reason is because they’re extremely consistent and they usually have two to three varieties of coffee to choose from. These are usually regional or seasonal roasts.

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Dunkin’ Donuts. Pardon me to the people who have spent time around me. You’ve heard this rant before. I worked at Dunkin’ when I was in High School. I was there for around six months and it turned me off to ever wanting to buy their coffee again, as well as their food. The hot coffee is only remade whenever the last pot runs out. I worked at a medium sized store and we only had two pots that we only ran at the same time during peak hours. There were times when we would run off the same pot for four hours or more because no one was coming into the store. The only time we dumped out excess coffee was if a customer complained that it tasted burnt or if third shift decided to clean the pots in the middle of the night. The excess coffee, burnt or not, was poured into a large tank in the back of the store. The tank wasn’t refrigerated and it was also what we used to make iced coffee. That’s right! We would just pull the spigot and make customers iced coffee with the old, burnt, and refrigerated blends from many days or months past. That will probably be hard to stomach for most of you, so I won’t get into how the food is made for now.

Making it at home

Drip Pot. This is the style of pot most people have sitting on their counter tops right now. They all pretty much work the same. The main variations are in the size, brand, and price. In my humble opinion, if you’re not going to spend $75 or more on a drip coffee pot then you may as well just buy the $20 Mr Coffee. The reason for this is most cheaper coffee pots don’t have a heating element that is powerful enough to get the full flavor out of your coffee grounds. I’m saying that if you have a $20 coffee pot then I would advise brewing your coffee using warm to hot water. However, using warm water in a higher quality coffee pot could decrease the taste quality of your coffee grounds.

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K Cups. I understand why these things are popular, but I just can’t ride that wave and conform with it. I know they come in a great deal of flavors, but so do most brands of ground and whole bean coffee.

Then there’s the convenience factor. I guess it is convenient to slap a pod in and have coffee in around a minute. However, I think the coffee just tastes cheap. Its like a cup of coffee you’d give to a guest in your home that you don’t like or want to stay for very long.

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They’re expensive for the quality of coffee. Same thing goes for the number of cups of coffee that you get out of a box of k cups, as well as the strength of the cups themselves.

Also, I don’t know if this is still valid and I really don’t even care enough to check my facts due to caring that little about k cups…but k cups are/or used to be full of BPA. The release of BPA is increased when you heat plastic (“Here’s your sign”). If convenience is more important than your welfare then you may want to evaluate your life a little bit.

French Press. One of the oldest ways to produce coffee at home. It’s also one of the best and most effective ways to do so. You can buy a decent quality french press for $20-30. You will always get the highest quality coffee, if you produce it correctly, because boil water for this method (Thus getting the full flavor).

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I’m a huge fan of the Aero Press. If you aren’t familiar. This is a style of french press that allows you to press your coffee directly into a coffee cup. It’s made out of plastic, so it works good for people who want to make good quality coffee when they’re traveling or clumsy people. It’s also BPA free! 🙂

Whole Bean vs Ground

I’m out of literal ammo. Whole bean coffee usually tastes better, but as long as you make it the right way then you’re winning!

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-FFB

Spartan Winter Race: Greek Peak

Last weekend, this guy had the pleasure of attending the first ever Winter Spartan Race held in the United States. Apparently they had held this style of race in Europe before, but never in the US (news to me). I definitely had my doubts about this and was pretty apprehensive in the days leading up to this event. I was mostly nervous about what I was going to wear. I haven’t really spent any extended amount of time out in the cold since I was in Boy Scouts and it was certainly a different time back then. I usually snowboard in the winter, but that’s a whole different set of gear. Furthermore, I don’t run at all in the winter because my lungs won’t allow that. So you get the point. I wasn’t prepared.

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So let’s start from the beginning. The race was held in Cortland, NY (which is housed in a valley in the middle of Upstate NY). This was my second Spartan Race (Yea I said I wasn’t doing this again) and I chose to do it was a partner (IG: @Hold2o) this time. We set out on this noble pilgrimage on Friday afternoon. This five hour quest left us famished so we had no choice, but to stop in Schenectady and eat Bombers Burritos. After slaying some Mexican style cuisine and battling some demons in a crowded parking garage, it was time forge down Interstate 88 and find the Comfort Inn that had been booked in  Binghamton.

Long story short, we went to bed pretty early and awoke early the next day. I ended up wearing: a fleece hat, googles, a 1/4 zip fleece sweater, a UA long sleeve (which I realized after was “heat gear” after the race), a Nike moisture wicking shirt, poly-blend leggings, my black silkies (really short shorts), polyester no shoe socks, and a pair of beat up duty boots (picture above after the race).

The Comfort Inn provided a pretty decent continental breakfast. Ever wonder where that term came from. “If you don’t know, now you know….” Anyways…I had a two servings of eggs, two sausage links, two Greek yogurts, a bagel with peanut butter (didn’t see the cream cheese till after), a cup of coffee, and a bunch of water. We let that settle and then we drove a short distance to Cortland.

And then the race. The line to register was long and out the door. Felt like Black Friday waiting for a door buster deal. There were easily more people at the mountain for the race than for skiing/riding. After registration was complete, Matt and I spent as much time as we could standing around because it was much better than standing out in the cold waiting for our 12:15 start time. However, these efforts were futile because all race start times were delayed for 20-30 minutes. So we paced around and did light warm up to pass the time. The temperature was in the negative after the windchill at this point. It became obvious that the reason why the start times were delayed was because the starting line was around 50 feet before one of the steepest hills on the course. Many people didn’t have the traction or conditioning to make it up this hill efficiently. By the way, Spartan Race specifically said that participants were not allowed to wear cleats or any time of spikes on their shoes (more on that later).

The rest of the course didn’t feel all that challenging. The most challenging part was getting traction on the icy ground when climbing up hills and otherwise. I saw several people break themselves because they didn’t have proper footing.There were a lot of hills that were so icy that people were sliding down them. I mean literally not even trying to walk or run down them. And as cold as it was, there was still thick mud over many parts of the course. The course was three and half miles long and had 23 obstacles. It left us wanting more, but at the same time we just wanted to get to the end where the warming tent was. The finish line seemed less dramatic when you aren’t going at it 100%.

Let’s talk about the finish. They handed out the standard Clif bar and beer, but the banana and FitAid was missing. Maybe it was too difficult to keep this stuff from freezing. The Clif bar almost broke my teeth and my Camelbak froze within the first mile of the race, so this is plausible. They did give out nice, long sleeve participant shirts with standard registration, so that was a plus. There was no finish line photos at the end, so it must of been too cold for that too.

Overall, I’d say the race was a hit and I enjoyed it for the most part. So I guess its time for the complaints.

Crowded: This had to have been one of the only Spartan events ever that was only held on one day. They are usually held over two days due to the high turnout. Spartan Race said this was a limited registration event, but it seemed like there was a good amount of people there. There were times when the course was so crowded that you would have to stop and wait or be in fear that you’d fall and take out someone else in the process. 

New obstacle?: Matt was under the impression that Spartan Race was adding new obstacles, which included tire flips for 2017. This wasn’t the case for Greek Peak however. 

Cleats?: As I stated earlier, Spartan Race specifically said that they didn’t want anyone wearing cleats or spikes. Most people assumed this was a safety measure. However, there was a vendor selling spikes for your shoes at the race.

I foresee Spartan Race doing a couple of these races  regionally in the winter from now on. I would do another Winter Spartan, but I’d hope that its a multi-day event and they allow spikes for those that choose to bring them with them. It wouldn’t hurt if they set up the event at a larger mountain as well.

-FFB

Healthy supplement alternatives

We all have to grow up at some point in time. Whether that means moving out of your parents house, getting a real job, cutting your hair, or maybe you just need to make healthier life choices. I can remember when I started working out in high school. I had absolutely no idea about what to do at the gym and even less knowledge about what supplements I should take or even the best time to take them. I remember mixing creatine with a iced tea before school and I still feel stupid about it to this day because doing that was such non-sense.

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Fast forward… I can remember spending way too long in GNC in the mid 2000s. I used to go there with my gym rat buddy and we’d spend up to an hour in the store. We would read and compare literally every label and price. Half of the time, we wouldn’t even buy anything. I think between the two of us, we probably tried everything on the market. Back then (and maybe still today), GNC had/s a policy where you could return any supplement even if it was opened and you used half of it (haha yea). Good times. Well anyways, we tried all kinds of supplements (even stuff that’s banned or not on the market anymore), but in the end all that really mattered was protein and some kind of pre-workout.

What’s wrong with protein?

Well, nothing significant in my opinion. When it comes to buying or using the right protein, the most important things are what ingredients are in it and what company produces it. First of all, any protein other whey protein isn’t worth your time and money (and that’s another blog in itself). Most of the really inexpensive proteins out there are filled with a lot random additives and taste extremely chalky. Most of the averaged priced proteins, out there taste pretty good and are filled with artificial sugars. Expensive proteins, like Isopure, are great..however they’re almost twice the price of a mid-grade protein like Optimum Nutrition.

My suggestion…

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Cabot’s whey protein is inexpensive, healthy, and widely available in a lot of markets. I paid $13.99 for a 1.75lb bag in Hannaford last week.

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One gram of sugar and obviously no artificial sugars because its unflavored. People seem to shy away from this protein because its unflavored, but this actually gives you an opportunity to blend it with whatever fruit you like. An optimum ratio is 2 scoops of protein, 1 cup of fruit, and 2 cups of milk. If you make a shake with blueberries and skim milk the macros come out to: 58 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fat, and 49g of carbs. That’s pretty decent for a post workout shake in my opinion. You could even use it as meal replacement if you were in pinch.

What’s wrong with pre-workout?

A lot of stuff is wrong with pre-workout supplements. I’m not sure where to start, but I can say that myself and many others used to/still do depend on these supplements to drag ass outta bed to get to the gym (as a prerequisite). I literally lived off of NO-Xplode and Jack3d in college and afterwards. “It was a different time back then.”

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The first problem is that you literally have no idea what the ingredients are. There’s substances in pre-workout that were created in a lab yesterday and are banned in professional and college sports. When you use them, there’s a lot of side effects. You get extremely dehydrated due to all the different stimulants they contain. You tend to lift more than you should be safely (its like beer muscles, but you’re sober). I once completed trashed my shoulder and couldn’t workout for three months due to this.

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A lot of the pre-workout supplements on the market contain creatine, which gives you really strong body odor. You also need to remember to cycle it (usually six weeks on, four weeks off) or it will stop working correctly. There’s also other weird things that happen like in my case where my ears get itchy and my scalp feels really dry. I’d imagine these supplements are horrible for people with any sort of heart issues or issues with organs like your kidneys.

My suggestion…

Black coffee. You can put sweeteners and creams in it, but those things really aren’t very good to consume before a workout. Black coffee will get you charged up for a workout, it counts as negative calories, goes great with breakfast, and its delicious.

If you aren’t a coffee person then you can try a BCAA supplement. These supplements definitely have some unknown substances in them, but are much more healthy an a pre-workout supplement.

End of rant.

-FFB