Summer is almost upon us, and now’s the time to get your youth and high school athletes enrolled for MadTown’s Summer Sessions. We offer a range of classes at different times and days to best help meet your schedule. We also have sport-specific camps for football, volleyball, and cross-country running. Sign up using our Rates and Registration page, or learn more about the classes and schedules using the links below. Get enrolled before May 24th and take advantage of early-bird rates!
Note: After you register for the training schedule you wish to have, you must email Coach Keysha (email@example.com) with the training days and times you plan to attend so that it can be placed on the class roster.
Coconut milk, which is great as a creamer in coffee, thickener for soups, or base for smoothies, comes from grating, soaking, and squeezing liquid from the coconut flesh. For ease, you can buy coconut milk premade at most grocery or health food stores. But it’s not that simple when searching for Paleo precision.
If you’re following a strict primal diet, then you’ve made peace with pasteurized dairy and moo-ved on to raw or other alternatives. For those of you new to the caveman ways, dairy is typically restricted in the Paleo diet because pasteurization breaks down milk from its original form, including the active enzymes and beneficial bacteria, as well as alters the protein structures and vitamin content.
Unless you’re drinking milk from a grass-fed cow that hasn’t been processed, you’re probably not consuming the healthy moo juice the “Got Milk” campaign would lead you to believe. The milk you may have grown up with is touted as being a healthy source of calcium, but better sources exist in seeds, nuts, leafy veggies, and sardines. The problem with those foods is that none make a great dairy alternative.
Coconut milk is a super substitute, but not all brands are created equal. Things like sugars or added grains are obvious no-nos in the clean-eating arena, but some ingredients—thickeners per se—are cause for debate. Guar gum and Xanthum gum are two commonly used thickening agents used in foods. Guar gum comes primarily from the guar bean. Xanthum gum comes from the fermentation of corn sugars. Since legumes and corn are out, some consider these types of coconut milk to fall outside the Paleo spectrum.
However, since guar and Xanthum gums are also considered to be vegetable-based and gluten free, others—including Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple, don’t have great concern. Robb Wolf, Paleo food expert, on the other hand warns of such gumming agents as possibly leading to gastrointestinal distress and even canned milks containing BPAs (a chemical linked with the linked with the lining of the metal can).
This debate won’t be settled here and now, but just as some Paleo followers eat potatoes, brown rice, and even dairy, it’s ultimately up to you to decide what works best for your diet.
If you’ve been following a strict Paleo or Primal diet, you may have banned sugar from your vocabulary—or at least limited your daily intake of it. That’s because sugar (including complex carbs, which take the form of sugar in the body) when taken in too high of doses leads to excess fat storage, increased potential for disease, and sugar cravings similar to that of a drug addict. There’s a lot of science behind it that I won’t bother to get into (that’s what Google is for), but suffice it to say that you shouldn’t overdo it on the sweet stuff.
Still, there is a time and place for sugar—no, not after Halloween when random candy is everywhere—it’s during your post-workout. While you were killing it during the WOD, your body was supplying you with energy from the muscle glycogen and blood sugar it had stored. Once you stop, your body is depleted and has to turn to taking nutrients from your muscles to aid in recovery. Simply put, if your muscles are supplying the energy, it means they’re not growing.
To provide your body with the extra insulin release needed to promote muscle mass, you need to take in a post-workout serving of simple carbohydrates within about 30 minutes to one hour after working out. While your normal healthy diet is all about looking for “good carbs,” ones that digest slowly, during the post-workout the focus is on fast digesting and insulin spikes to deliver the energy to your muscles quickly. A combination whey protein and dextrose shake is a good choice, but if you have a sweet tooth, this is prime time for you (within moderation, of course). Try fruit leather, honey, pineapple, or chocolate milk for more natural sweets. Just keep your sugars simple, look for quality products, and don’t overdo it on intake, and you’ll have a sweet way to refuel your muscles.
If you’ve ever ripped apart a telephone book, bent a 60-penny nail in half, or did a one-handed deadlift of three times your body weight, I’m going to guess that you don’t have grip issues. However, if the first lap of Tuesday’s MadTown Mile left you with cramped hands or caused multiple hand-shakeout breaks, then you need to get a grip.
A great grip means better lifts, better endurance, and, of course, a better handshake. It includes not just your hands but also your fingers, wrists, and forearms. The CrossFit MadTown warm ups, skill building, and WODs will all help your grip improve, but here are a few additional tips to try:
- Ball squeeze: With a tennis ball in your palm, squeeze, hold and release the ball. Start with a 10- to 20-second squeeze and work up to longer durations. Do it a few times throughout the day to see your grip strength go up and your stress levels go down.
- Skip the straps: Unless you’re about to deadlift more weight than your hands can hold, don’t use straps for every single set. If you never use your muscles, you’ll have a hard time getting stronger. The same is true for your grip. If you build it—it will come.
- Wet towel: Using one wet hand towel per hand, work on drawing up the towel into a ball and wringing out as much water as possible. Release and repeat (rewet the towel, if necessary).
- Finger planks: Start in a push-up position with your arms extended, but instead of putting your palms flat on the ground, go up onto your fingertips. Hold this plank position for as long as you can. Take short breaks, repeating two or three more times. If it’s too hard, lower your knees to the floor. If it’s too easy, try push-ups in this position.
- Grip hangs: Loop a towel over the top of a pull-up bar. Holding the ends of the towel in your hands, grip, hold, and hang for as long as you can. Release, take a break, and repeat. If this is too hard, keep one foot on a box or chair to reduce the negative weight. If this is too easy, try using this grip to do dead hang pull ups.
Snatches, squats, and cleans—oh, my!—or at least that may be what your hips are saying after the recent weeks’ WODs. If you’re like most Americans who sit for extended periods each day thanks to your job, or if you have an old injury, or if you’re just naturally tight in the nether region, then hip mobility may be standing between you and a PR.
While pain is one way to know if your hips need some help (and let’s hope you haven’t let it get that far), not being able to get ATG (that’s right…a$$ to grass)—or even below or near parallel—is another sure sign.
What do your hips have to do with it anyway? Well…kind of a lot, actually. If you want to be stronger, be faster, and have more power, you’ve got to show your hips some love. That’s because when used correctly and in proper working order, your hips can put out a ton of power. It’s exactly what this region is designed to handle. Without healthy hips, lifting is going to cause your lower back some wear and tear, if not pain, and your knees are going to take a hit as well.
With that said, how do you get on the path to recovery? Here are three quick things to try:
- Roll: While it may not be a discreet area of muscles to massage, rolling you inner and outer hips over a tennis ball or foam roller can go a long way.
- Kick: You know the leg and arm swings we do at least once a week? Well there’s a reason for that. When it comes to your hips, the leg swings—front to back and side to side—are a great hip opener. Focus on lifting your leg from your hip socket and keeping your torso from twisting with the movements.
- Squat: Holding a relatively heavy kettlebell with two hands close to your body around chest or stomach level, sink into a very low squat. Think about rotating your hips underneath and open, and butterflying your legs apart. If you don’t feel a stretch, try repositioning or going up to a heavier weight. Hold this position for about 20-30seconds at a time, with the intention of working for longer durations the more you do them.
Here’s to happier hips and better lifts!